The coroner has to confirm the identity of the person who died, how they died and what led to their death. The coroner can also make recommendations to try to stop something similar happening to anyone else.
A pathologist (a specially trained doctor) will examine the body of the person who died to find out how they died. The pathologist may need to thoroughly examine the body inside and out.
You cannot object to a post mortem taking place if the person died as a result of a crime.
During the post mortem, the pathologist will probably take some body tissue samples (like blood) to do some tests. You will be asked if you want these samples back after the coroner's inquiry.
After the post mortem, the pathologist writes a report to the coroner giving their opinion on how the person died. You will be told about the post mortem report but if it's part of a police investigation you might not be able to have a copy.
As well as the court case, a coroner will investigate the case and there may be a hearing in the Coroner's Court (called an inquest). This is a special court that looks at the causes and circumstances of someone's death and if there is anything that can be done to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.
The Ministry of Justice's Coronial Services will notify you before the hearing, and your police victim liaison officer will also talk to you about the hearing. You and your family can go to the Coroner's Court hearing, but you do not have to unless you have been asked to give evidence.
Support people can come with you to the inquest. Contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846 or the Victims Information Line on 0800 650 654 to arrange a support person to be with you at the hearing.
More information about the coronial process