Inquest definition: When an inquest is held, a public official hears evidence about someone's death in order... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Since 1927, coroner's juries have rarely been used in England. An inquest is a hearing in which a court evaluates a party’s claims for damages when another party “defaults”. Generally an inquest may result in a finding of natural death, accidental death, suicide, or murder. The Legal Term * Inquest * Defined & Explained. Inquest. In light of this recent turn of events, Sherene Razack's thought provoking book titled Dying from Improvement: Durham and Darlington Coroner Andrew Tweddle will open the, Lady Justice Hallett, a Court of Appeal judge, has been appointed to conduct the, Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, Birmingham pub bombings inquest costs police PS216k; News, Relatives slam ex-MP and campaigner as a 'disgrace', Inquests for Arena victims still year away, at last mum and our kevin can rest in peace; Daughter of tragic H'boro campaigner Anne Williams opens her heart to the ECHO, Razack, Sherene H. Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody, Dad fears wait for new barracks death inquest; ORIGINAL SUICIDE VERDICT ON HIS SOLDIER DAUGHTER QUASHED, 2010 date for July 7 inquests; Victims' families angered by delays. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English inquest in‧quest / ˈɪŋkwest / noun [countable] 1 SCL a legal process to find out the cause of someone’s death inquest into The coroner will hold an inquest into the deaths. An inquest of office was bound to find for the king upon the The judicial inquiry An Inquest is a public, fact finding inquiry to determine the identity of the deceased(who) when, where and howthey died. Any body of jurors called to inquire into certain matters. (Law) an inquiry into the cause of an unexplained, sudden, or violent death, or as to whether or not property constitutes treasure trove, held by a coroner, in certain cases with a jury. The INQUEST Lawyers Group (ILG) is a national pool of lawyers who are willing and able to provide preparation and legal representation for bereaved families. An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person's death. This procedure was the origin of the modern grand jury. Inquests are public hearings and can be held with or without juries - both are considered equally valid. Vide Inquisition. 1. A body of men appointed by law to inquire into certain matters. The purpose of the inquest proceedings in these cases is that while the state acknowledges the law enforcers’ authority to arrest and detain persons without a warrant, the state must also ensure that these persons are not unlawfully detained, and that they are not denied due process. The role of the Coroner is not to attribute blameor to determine any question of civil or criminal liability. A coroner is a government official who is empowered to conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and to investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the coroner's jurisdiction.. inquest. The coroner participated in the inquest. An inquiry by a Coroner or medical examiner, sometimes with the aid of a jury, into the cause of a violent death or a death occurring under suspicious circumstances. This change came about after Lord Lucan was charged in 1975 by a coroner's jury in the death of Sandra Rivett, his children's nanny.[8]. The body of jurors called to inquire into the circumstances of a death that occurred suddenly, by violence, or while imprisoned. Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official, an inquest may or may not require an autopsy carried out by a coroner or medical examiner. 196. Then in 1166 a law called the Assize of Clarendon made the inquest procedure mandatory. The reason given is that the inquest concluded no investigation, is also called an inquest or an inquisition. Generally an inquest may result in a finding of natural death, accidental death, suicide, or murder. Since a person could not be tried for a crime until accused, a panel of four men from each vill and twelve from each hundred appeared before the court and charged certain individuals with crimes. Once these rights were ascertained, they were adopted by the government and considered established. grand jury, is sometimes called the grand inquest. From this early function of fiscal administration, the coroner today has become primarily responsible for managing dead bodies, but the inquest is still the procedure the coroner uses for investigation. If the verdict is murder or culpable accident, criminal prosecution may follow, and suspects are able to defend themselves there. [20], A coroner's jury deemed Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and their posse guilty in the death of Frank Stilwell in March 1882. INQUEST. The finding of such men, upon an [6] In his account of the culture of the Gauls (Commentarii de Bello Gallico VI.19.3), Julius Caesar mentions a very early use of the procedure: "if a matter comes into suspicion about a death, they hold an inquiry (a quaestio) concerning the wives in the method used for slaves, and if guilt is established, they kill the wives, who have been tortured, with fire and all torments.". An inquest may be called at the behest of a coroner, judge, prosecutor, or, in some jurisdictions, upon a formal request from the public. They can be very common in landlord-tenant and and consumer debt cases. In the majority of cases reported to the procurator fiscal, early enquiries rule out suspicious circumstances and establish that the death was due to natural causes.[9]. At an inquest, only the plaintiff is present because the defendant has failed to answer or appear in the action. Witnesses are examined, and a special jury returns a verdict on the cause of death. There was no accusation, verdict, or judgment in these proceedings, but the inquest fixed the right of the government to obtain information from its citizens. ( ˈɪnˌkwɛst) n. 1. Menu. 10; 2 H. IV. A body of men appointed by law to inquire into certain matters; as, The purpose of such inquests was always to determine the extent of the king's financial interests. An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person's death. [6] It was the method of gathering the survey data for the Domesday Book in England after the Norman conquest. noun. The grand jury is sometimes called the "grand inquest." itself is also called an inquest. inquest definition: 1. an official process to discover the cause of someone's death: 2. an examination of or…. 5; 3 Leon. (See: coroner). An inquest may be called at the behest of a coroner, judge, prosecutor, or, in some jurisdictions, upon a formal request from the public. A coroner's jurymay be convened to assist in t… Moore, 730; Vaughan, 135; 3 H. VII. [10] These inquests are not themselves trials, but investigations. Anytime there was a death, the crown took whatever object had caused the death and all of the personal property of anyone who committed suicide or was convicted of a felony. Inquest (noun) a body of men assembled under authority of law to inquire into any matterm civil or criminal, particularly any case of violent or sudden death; a jury, particularly a coroner's jury. Generally, inquests are conducted only when deaths are sudden or unexplained. https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/inquests, A senior coroner has urged more than 100 legal experts to always put the family at the heart of an, Amid scenes which could not be reported until the conclusion of the, A pre-inquest hearing was told that nine weeks of, The hearing was the third preinquest review into the May 2017 atrocity, which claimed 22 lives, but the first since retired High Court judge Sir John Saunders was appointed as coroner for the, The Formby mum, 62, had always maintained that Kevin had been alive beyond the 3.15pm cut-off point for evidence at the original. An inquest is an informal and summary investigation conducted by the public prosecutor in a criminal case involving persons ARRESTED AND DETAINED WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF A WARRANT OF ARREST issued by the court for the purpose of determining WHETHER SAID PERSONS SHOULD REMAIN UNDER CUSTODY AND CORRESPONDINGLY CHARGED IN COURT inquest a proceeding which usually is a limited non-jury trial for the purpose of fixing the amount of damages where the plaintiff or defendant alone introduces testimony. Define Northern Ireland troubles related inquest. [8], Additionally, a coroner's jury only determines the cause of death, its ruling does not commit a person to trial. In general usage, inquest is also used to mean any investigation or inquiry. Since juries are not used in most European civil law systems, these do not have any (jury) procedure similar to an inquest, but medical evidence and professional witnesses have been used in court in continental Europe for centuries. There are certain categories of deaths that must be enquired into, but the procurator fiscal may enquire into any death brought to his notice. Define Inquest hearing. Inquest Law and Legal Definition When the cause of death is undetermined or not certified by an attending physician, the coroner will hold an inquisition or inquest, sometimes with the assistance of a jury, over the body of any person who may have come to a … The panel of men was required to appear before local sheriffs and make regular accusations on their oaths. Inquests are legal inquiries into the cause and circumstances of a death, and are limited, fact-finding inquiries; a Coroner will consider both oral and written evidence during the course of an inquest. The Norman invaders were not long on English soil when they used the inquest to compile the Domesday Book, a census compiled between 1085 and 1086 to record the ownership of land throughout the kingdom. The grand jury is sometimes called the grand inquest. Generally, inquests are conducted only when deaths are sudden or unexplained. [5], The inquest, as a means of settling a matter of fact, developed in Scandinavia and the Carolingian Empire before the end of the tenth century. In England and Wales, all inquests were once conducted with a jury. Deaths are usually brought to the attention of the procurator fiscal through reports from the police, the registrar, GPs or hospital doctors. [3][4][5], Larger inquests can be held into disasters, or in some jurisdictions (not England and Wales) into cases of corruption. These cases then were tried in the royal courts because of the king's special interest in keeping the peace. Depending on the state, they may be characterized as judicial, quasi-judicial, or non-judicial proceedings. Generally an inquest may result in a finding of natural death, accidental death, suicide, or murder. An inquiry by a Coroner or medical examiner, sometimes with the aid of a jury, into the cause of a violent death or a death occurring under suspicious circumstances. means a formal court hearing held to determine whether the death of a person was caused by an unlawful act or omission and, if the death was caused by an unlawful act or omission, to obtain evidence to form the basis of a criminal prosecution. The foundation of the modern jury system can be traced back to the Carolingian empire of medieval Europe during the eighth to the tenth centuries. The qualifications to sit on a coroner's jury are the same as those to sit on a jury in the Crown Court, the High Court, and the County Court. While grand juries, which did have the power to indict, were abolished in the United Kingdom by 1948 (after being effectively stopped in 1933), coroner's juries retained those powers until the Criminal Law Act 1977. The coroner can actually choose to convene a jury in any investigation, but in practice this is rare. An inquest uses witnesses, but suspects are not permitted to defend themselves. 2. In England inquests are also required when there is loss or injury in a fire. Inquiry definition is - a request for information. However, anyone who has concerns about the circumstances of a death can report it to the procurator fiscal. They called together the people of the countryside and required them to recite what they considered to be the immemorial rights of the king. Where a death is reported, the procurator fiscal will investigate the circumstances of the death, attempt to find out the cause of the death and consider whether criminal proceedings or a fatal accident inquiry is appropriate. How to use inquiry in a sentence. [Sub-s. The Coroner's duty to hold an inquest is contained in section 6 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. inquest. Inquest of Office Law and Legal Definition Inquest of office is an inquiry conducted by king’s officer, coroner, sheriff, or other royal officer into matters affecting the rights and interests of the crown or of the state to the possession of lands or tenements, goods, or chattels. They hel… [19] Coroners' reports and findings, on the other hand, are generally admissible. Usually an autopsy by a qualified medical examiner from the coroner's office is a key part of the inquest. The most common kind of inquest is an inquiry including a medical examination by a coroner into the cause of a death that was sudden, violent, suspicious, or occurred in prison. An inquest is a judicial investigation, usually by a group of court-appointed people (jury), in common law jurisdictions. The group is integral to our work, providing specialist legal advice to many families going through the inquest process and contributing to our work on coronial reform. For this inquiry, citizens were called and required to give testimony under oath about their land and Personal Property.The inquest was also used in local courts in England during the Middle Ages. Under the Coroners Act 1988,[7] a jury is only required to be convened in cases where the death occurred in prison, police custody, or in circumstances which may affect public health or safety. The monarchs used a procedure called inquest, or inquisition, to help them consolidate their authority in the realm. Dictionary ! [15] Coroners are generally not bound by the jury's conclusion, and have broad discretion, which in many jurisdictions cannot be appealed. What Happens During An Inquest Following An Unexpected Death? When an autopsy is performed to determine the cause of death and law enforcement investigates to determine if a homicide occurred, this is an example of an inquest. means an inquest that is being held under the law of Northern Ireland into the death of any person in Northern Ireland that occurred or may have occurred as a result of an act of violence or force carried out during the period beginning on 1 January 1966 and ending on 10 April 1998— Criminal prosecution may follow when culpable conduct has contributed to the death. [11] Inquests, and the necessity for holding them, are matters of statutory law in the United States. [12] Statutes may also regulate the requirement for summoning and swearing a coroner's jury. The authentic interpretation from Black's Law Dictionary of the legal term INQUEST. Similar to a grand jury, a coroner's jury merely accused, it did not convict. inquest: [ in´kwest ] a legal inquiry before a coroner or medical examiner, and usually a jury, into the manner of death. Legal definition for INQUEST OF OFFICE: An examination into a matter by an officer in virtue of his office. The Coroner is supported by a team of Coroners’ Officers. Legal Definition of inquest 1 : a judicial or official inquiry or examination often before a jury a coroner's inquest — compare trial man of his right, but only gave the king an opportunity to enter so that he [17] Whether the evidence presented at an inquest can be used in subsequent civil actions depends on the jurisdiction,[18] though at common law, the inquest verdict was admissible to show cause of death. could have his right tried. He held inquests to investigate royal rights concerning fish, shipwrecks, treasure trove, and unexplained deaths. The procurator fiscal has a duty to investigate all sudden, suspicious, accidental, unexpected and unexplained deaths and any death occurring in circumstances that give rise to serious public concern. The charity Inquest looks at inquests concerning contentious deaths including those in places of detention, and has campaigned for reforms to the inquest and coroner's system in England and Wales. [14] Coroners may compel witnesses to attend and give testimony at inquires, and may punish a witness for refusing to testify according to statute. The determination or findings of a body of persons called to make a legal inquiry or the report issued after their investigation. Inquest, judicial inquiry by a group of persons appointed by a court.The most common type is the inquest set up to investigate a death apparently occasioned by unnatural means. Definition of INQUEST: 1. 2) a term used in New York for a hearing on the validity of a will by a surrogate judge. At the inquest, the plaintiff must prove the allegations made … No one connected with the 'Lectric Law Library, including Sponsors, Advertisers, & Content Providers, In rare cases a jury may be used to determine the cause of death. [1] Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official, an inquest may or may not require an autopsy carried out by a coroner or medical examiner. (A Grand Jury is sometimes called a grand inquest, for example.). Such a jury was made up of up to twenty-three men, and required the votes of twelve to render a decision. The panel members appeared voluntarily, however, and were not summoned by a public officer as is done for an inquest today. Source : LawyerIntl.com ... inquest An inquiry by a jury called by the district attorney to find the cause of death in certain cases requiring investigation. See more. The decision to hold an inquest or inquiry and to determine the scope of that investigation is a matter for the coroner, not the government. n. 1) an investigation and/or a hearing held by the coroner (a county official) when there is a violent death either by accident or homicide, the cause of death is not immediately clear, there are mysterious circumstances surrounding the death, or the deceased was a prisoner. The Coroner must open an Inquest into a death if there is reasonable cause to suspect that the death was due to anything other than natural causes or happened in state detention such as in a prison or in police custody. An inquiry by a Coroner or medical examiner, sometimes with the aid of a jury, into the cause of a violent death or a death occurring under suspicious circumstances. INQUEST is the only non-governmental organisation in England and Wales working specifically on contentious deaths and the inquest system and as such Inquest Law is a uniquely valuable publication. [16] Generally, the county or city is responsible for the fees of conducting an inquest, but some statutes have provided for the recovery of such costs. The verdict can be, for example, natural death, accidental death, misadventure, suicide, or murder. An inquiry by a coroner or medical examiner, sometimes with the the inquest examined into the facts connected with the alleged murder; the The effect of a coroner's verdict at common law was equivalent to a finding by a grand jury, whereas some statutes provide that a verdict makes the accused liable for arrest. An inquest is a hearing for the purpose of determining the amount of damages due on a claim. In the United States, inquests are generally conducted by coroners, who are generally officials of a county or city. 0. Defaults occur in some areas of law more than others. A further step in consolidating the king's powers came with creation of the office of the coroner, so named for its service to the crown. In the Middle Ages the coroner was a powerful local official who kept records of appeals from lower courts, accusations, hangings, and public financial matters. 2. informal any inquiry or investigation. Inquest. Inquest can also mean such a jury and the result of such an investigation. They acted somewhat like a grand jury, determining whether a person should be committed to trial in connection to a death. [2] A coroner's jury may be convened to assist in this type of proceeding. Learn more. 1. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. Inquest Law is distributed widely amongst lawyers, coroners, academics and policy makers. [21], Judicial inquiry, particularly into the cause of a death, "King's College of London - Coroner's Law Resource", "What to do after a death in Scotland: ... practical advice for times of bereavement - 8th Edition", Writeup explaining concepts and example cases of a Coroner's Jury, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Inquest&oldid=993727744, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 December 2020, at 04:17. Inquest definition, a legal or judicial inquiry, usually before a jury, especially an investigation made by a coroner into the cause of a death. [13] Inquests themselves generally are public proceedings, though the accused may not be entitled to attend. This type of proceeding hearing in which a court evaluates a party’s claims for damages when party. 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