Making Coronial Law Accessible: The Australian Coronial Law Library
7 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2023
Date Written: July 18, 2023
Coroners investigate the cause and circumstances of reported death and may make recommendations in their findings directed to governments and others, to encourage them to make changes to procedures and practices to reduce the risk of preventable death.
In Australia, coroners are established at State and Territory level, so come under eight jurisdictions. There has been no national collection of coronial findings, recommendations, government responses, or legislative and administrative changes. Research for academic, judicial or professional purposes has therefore been very difficult.
To remedy this situation, AustLII (Australasian Legal Information Institute) has built the Australian Coronial Law Library, with funding assistance from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and partner Universities. The free access Library on AustLII provides an expansive perspective on the coronial function over at least the past twenty years. It has 67 databases made up of 14 coronial databases (findings, recommendations and responses) from all jurisdictions and 53 virtual databases of related cases, legislation, law reform and journal articles dealing with coronial matters. It includes 24,570 searchable items, of which nearly 10,000 are coronial findings, recommendations and responses.
It is hoped that the Library will enable researchers to assess the effectiveness of coronial recommendations and helps to improve the quality of both coronial recommendations and government responses.
The Library was launched on 18 July 2023 by former Australian High Court Justice Virginia Bell AC.
Keywords: Australia, AustLII, free access to law, coroners
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