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Coroners' Recommendations and the Promise of Saved Lives

Jennifer Moore, Academic, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine and the Faculty of Law, The University of Otago, New Zealand and a Harkness Fellow, Stanford University, US
This is the first empirical law book to investigate coroners’ recommendations, and the extent of their impact and implementation. Based on an extensive study, the book analyses over 2000 New Zealand Coroners’ recommendations and includes more than 100 interviews and over 40 respondents to a survey, as well as Coroner’s Court findings and litigation from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and Scotland. This timely book is an overdue investigation of the highly debated questions: do coroners’ recommendations save lives and how often are they implemented?
Extent: 328 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78471 155 9
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Health Law
  • Law and Society
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Health Policy and Economics
This timely book is an investigation of the highly debated questions: do coroners’ recommendations save lives and how often are they implemented? It is the first socio-legal investigation of coroners’ recommendations from several countries. Based on an extensive study, it analyses Coroner’s Court findings and litigation from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and Scotland, as well as over 2000 New Zealand coroners’ recommendations, and includes more than 100 interviews and over 40 respondents to a survey.

The book probes coroners’, organisations’ and families’ experiences of the Coroner’s Court in detail and includes substantial quotations from, and discussion of, their experiences. The data analysed demonstrates that while coronial recommendations can be useful tools for intervention and policy development, coroners’ contribution to morbidity and mortality prevention at the population level requires further development.

In addition to coroners, lawyers, health practitioners, families, organisations and policy makers, researchers from Law, Medicine and the Social Sciences will find this pioneering volume an important and illuminating resource.
‘In this well-constructed empirical study Moore provides insight on the contemporary role of coronial recommendations. This goes to the heart of the efficacy of the coroner’s preventive function. She explores the gap between rhetoric and reality about the role of the coroner as the ombudsman for the dead. Moore’s important work fills a serious knowledge gap about coroners’ ancient role in advancing riders/recommendations and provides a basis for informed discussion about international coronial law reform and enhanced inquest practice.’
– Professor Ian Freckelton QC, University of Melbourne and Monash University, Australia

‘Dr Moore's comprehensive book closes a gap in our knowledge about how coroners' recommendations are generated, presented, received and implemented. The research speaks valuable volumes about the relationship between coroners and the societies they serve. By situating the data within a global and historical context, this book covers everything that is essential to understanding coroners' systems.’
– Dr John D Rutherford, Director of Forensic Pathology, Northern Territory, Australia

‘This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the work of coroners. They are often ignored by academics and politicians, but this book shows how coroners can have a crucial role in promoting public health and saving lives. This book could revolutionise the way the work of coroners is understood.’
– Professor Jonathan Herring, University of Oxford, UK
Contents: 1. Learning From Death 2. Coronial Jurisdictions 3. Coroners’ Recommendations 4. Do Coroners’ Recommendations “Disappear Into A Black Hole?” 5. The Promise Of Saved Lives: Coroners’ Preventive Function 6. Mandatory Responses To Coroners’ Recommendations 7. Dying For Change Index