Law School alumnus is new Chief Coroner of England and Wales

Kent Law School alumnus His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC is the new Chief Coroner of England and Wales.

HHJ Mark Lucraft QC, who graduated from Kent in 1983 with a degree in Law, took up his post on 1 October. He was appointed by the Lord Chief Justice, after consultation with the Lord Chancellor, for a three-year term.

He succeeds HHJ Peter Thornton QC who was appointed as the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales in May 2012.

Judge Mark Lucraft, who was called to the Bar in 1984, was appointed a Recorder in 2003 and took Silk in 2006. He was in practice at the Bar until his appointment to the Circuit Bench in July 2012. He will continue to sit as a judge on criminal matters at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) alongside his role as Chief Coroner.

The Chief Coroner, an office created by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, is head of the coroner system, providing national leadership for coroners in England and Wales. The Chief Coroner has a number of roles but his main responsibilities will be to:

  • Provide support, leadership and guidance for coroners in England and Wales
  • Set national standards for all coroners, including new inquest rules
  • Oversee the implementation of the new provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009
  • Put in place suitable training arrangements for coroners and their staff
  • Approve coroner appointments
  • Keep a register of coroner investigations lasting more than 12 months and take steps to reduce unnecessary delays
  • Monitor investigations into the deaths of service personnel
  • Oversee transfers of cases between coroners and direct coroners to conduct investigations
  • Provide an annual report on the coroner system to the Lord Chancellor, to be laid before Parliament
  • Monitor the system where recommendations from inquests are reported to the appropriate authorities in order to prevent further deaths.