Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia Limited

Review of Coronial Practice in Western Australia

This submission was in response to the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (LRCWA) Background Paper into Project No 100, Review of the Coronial Practice in WA. ALSWA endorsed the Background Paper and made a number of additional recommendations including that:

  • the findings and recommendations from the Coroner’s Court be publicly available whilst maintaining confidentiality and sensitivity;
  • the Coroner’s Act 1996 (WA) be amended requiring government and private sector responses to coronial recommendations;
  • communication between court and the legal counsel to be enhanced;
  • a specific court be allocated to the Coroner’s Court with adjoining private rooms for witness preparation and family privacy;
  • an independent coronial investigator with impartiality and specialised skills to investigate death in custody and / or police presence be appointed;
  • the WA government fund ALSWA to appear for family or community to better monitor the implementation;
  • the Coroner’s Court counselling service be better resourced particularly for people in regional and remote areas;
  • the Coroner’s Court appoint an Aboriginal Liaison Officer to bridge the gap between the Coroner’s Court, Aboriginal families, communities and organisations;
  • funds be allocated to the Coroner’s Court to assist families attend and participate in Inquests;
  • the WA Government develop and fund a state-wide interpreter service for Aboriginal languages;
  • support be provided to family members to manage the media interest;
  • persons other than police officers engage with family to provide information on the investigation process;
  • there be established processes to ensure families are provided with more information about expected time frames, power and purpose of Inquests and the right representation; and
  • Counsel Assisting the Coroner be required to undertake cultural awareness training to improve understanding, appreciate the sensitivities surrounding Aboriginal grieving.

Coronial Review Submission – 2412010 – LRCWA.pdf (220.13Kb)

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