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?

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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 www.police.govt.nz. If the Police proceed with the complaint, you may become a witness in any future court case.

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