Coroners Court of the Northern Territory



The title of Coroners Court is the name given to
proceedings In academia and librarianship, conference proceedings is a collection of academic papers published in the context of an academic conference or workshop. Conference proceedings typically contain the contributions made by researchers at the conferen ...
in which a coroner holds an
inquest An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person's death. Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official, an inquest may or may not require an autopsy carried out by a coro ...
or an
inquiry An inquiry (also spelled as enquiry in British English) is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of th ...
in the
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (commonly abbreviated as NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. The Northern Territory shares its borders with Western Aust ...


Coroners have
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Ju ...
over the remains of a person and the power to make findings in respect of the cause of death of a person. In the territory, they also have power to hold inquests into disasters that occur wholly or partly in the territory. Generally there are no
appeals In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed by a higher authority, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying and ...
from the decision of a coroner, although there is provision for the
Supreme Court of the Northern Territory The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory is the superior court for the Australian Territory of the Northern Territory. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the territory in civil matters, and hears the most serious criminal matters. It is ...
to order a fresh inquest or inquiry or to grant prerogative relief in respect of the proceedings.


The office of coroner in the territory derives from the legal framework of the office of coroner inherited from the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and No ...
when Australia was settled by the British in 1788. The first
Governor of New South Wales The governor of New South Wales is the viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, King Charles III, in the state of New South Wales. In an analogous way to the governor-general of Australia at the national level, the governors of the ...
Arthur Phillip Admiral Arthur Phillip (11 October 1738 – 31 August 1814) was a British Royal Navy officer who served as the first governor of the Colony of New South Wales. Phillip was educated at Greenwich Hospital School from June 1751 until ...
, was a coroner by virtue of his commission as governor. Technically, he was the first coroner of the territory as the territory was part of New South Wales at that time. Practically however, he had no presence there, and no need to exercise jurisdiction. The governor's commission also entitled him to appoint others as coroners as required, and this was most likely to have been to justices of the peace.

Structure and jurisdiction

Administrator of the Northern Territory The Administrator of the Northern Territory is an official appointed by the Governor-General of Australia to represent the government of the Commonwealth in the Northern Territory, Australia. They perform functions similar to those of a state gove ...
may appoint a Territory Coroner for the territory. The Territory Coroner has the function to oversee and co-ordinate coronial services in the territory, ensure that all deaths and suspected deaths concerning which a coroner has jurisdiction to hold an inquest properly investigated, ensuring that an inquest or inquiry is held whenever it is required, and to issue guidelines to coroners to assist them in the exercise or performance of their functions. The administrator may also appoint deputy coroners. Deputy coroners essentially have all the functions of a coroner except that they cannot hold an inquest into a death in custody. All stipendiary magistrates in the territory are coroners by virtue of their appointment as a magistrate.

Territory Coroners

* Greg Cavanagh

Notable cases

* Azaria Chamberlain disappearance



* Coroners Act (NT) - {{Government of the Northern Territory Northern Territory courts and tribunals
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (commonly abbreviated as NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. The Northern Territory shares its borders with Western Aust ...