Inquests and trials after a major incident

If you are involved in a major incident you may be asked to take part in an inquest or trial as part of the investigations carried out after the event. The procedures you may be involved with may seem complex but there is information and help available.

Inquests

An inquest is an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a death. The purpose of the inquest is to find out who the person was and how, when and where they died, and to find out the details the Registrar of Deaths need to register the death.

An inquest is not a trial. It is not the role of the Coroner to decide any question of criminal or civil liability or to apportion guilt or attribute blame.

Once the Coroner’s investigation into a death is complete, the Coroner will decide if an inquest is to be held. This can take some time to complete and is dependent on the circumstances of the death and the final report of the postmortem examination.

If the Coroner is informed that someone has been charged with an offence directly linked to the death, the inquest or a decision on whether to hold and inquest, will not be made until the criminal proceedings end.

If an inquest is to be held a date will be arranged in consultation with the family. Inquests are open to the public and the media.

Coroners decide who should give evidence as witnesses at an inquest. Witnesses will first be questioned by the Coroner, and there may be further questions by ‘properly interested people’ or their legal representatives. Person’s with a ‘proper interest’ include:

  • relatives of the deceased
  • the executor(s) of the deceased’s will or a person appointed as the deceased’s personal representative
  • solicitors acting for the next of kin
  • insurers with a relevant interest
  • anyone who may, in some way, be responsible for the death
  • others at some special risk or appearing to the Coroner to have a proper interest

The findings of an inquest will record the essential facts about the means by which the deceased came by his or her death.

Find out more about Coroners, post-mortems and inquests.

Trials

If you are a victim or a witness to a major incident, you could be asked to give evidence if a case is brought against someone, the police and Public Prosecution Service (PPS) believe is responsible.

Going to court can be an overwhelming experience, but there is a lot of support out there for victims and witnesses. Find out more at the links below.

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.