Can a coroner investigate an attempt to obstruct the course of justice?

Question Details: Can a coroner investigate an attempt to obstruct the course of justice in their own court, or is this something the police should deal with?

Filed under Litigation | 1778 View(s)

Are you a lawyer? Login or register to answer this question.

Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

Coroners do not have separate powers to investigate potential offences. This is a matter that should be referred to the Police who have investigatory powers.

As an aside, there are several offences in the Coroners Act 2006 that may also be relevant - such as section 134 (failure to supply documents requested by Coroner) and section 135 (false or misleading statements). The Police can investigate whether any of these offences have been committed and whether any Crimes Act 1961 offences have been committed (such as conspiring to defeat the course of justice - section 116).

We suggest you raise your concerns with the Police by contacting them to make a statement - locate and contact your local branch at If the Police proceed with the complaint, you may become a witness in any future court case.

Answered 30 Oct 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The answer provided above is intended for general informational purposes only and cannot be considered a substitute for face-to-face legal advice. It should not be relied upon as the sole basis for taking action in relation to a legal issue. Laws change frequently, and small variations in the facts, or a fact not provided in the question, can often change a legal outcome or a lawyer’s conclusion. No liability whatsoever is accepted by the authors or publishers of the answer, for loss, damage or inconvenience arising in any way from the use of this site. While each answer has been published by a lawyer with a practising certificate, that person may not necessarily have experience in the particular area of law involved.

For more information about this website, please review our Terms of Use.