Deaths under DOLS – mandatory inquests no more?

The Government last night (16 November) accepted an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill moved by Baroness Finlay to remove deaths under Schedule A1 authorisations (and where the person is subject to a relevant order of the Court of Protection) from the definition of “state detention” for purposes of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.   Assuming that the Bill as amended is then accepted by the House of Commons, and is enacted in this form, there would therefore be no mandatory inquest where a person dies in a care home or hospital under a DOLS authorisation (or where a person dies subject to an order made by the Court of Protection which has the effect of authorising the deprivation of their liberty).  This would not, of course, remove the requirement for there a coroner to investigate under s.1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 wherever the death is violent or unnatural or the cause of death is unknown.  The record of the debate can be found here.



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