Who can attend the inquests?
The Coroners Court is open to the public and therefore, subject to space being available, it is open to all. The press may attend and report on what has happened.
The Chief Coroner for England and Wales has published guidance to coroners advising them that the media must be notified of hearings, in particular those of public interest. Media interest will depend on the nature of the death and what else is going on in the news at the time.
Families cannot stop the press from attending or writing about a hearing. The press do have a code of ethics they must abide by, and they should be sensitive to grieving families. Some families want there to be press attention, but it is understood that some will not.
What are standard timings for an inquest?
The court sits from 10.00am-4.30pm, with one hour for lunch.
How long is the inquest likely to last?
It is anticipated the inquest could last up to four weeks.
Can we record the proceedings?
Recording is not permitted. However, a full transcript will be available for download from this website at the end of each day.
Is any support available to those attending?
Coroners Court support volunteers will be in attendance to offer support throughout the inquest. You can also view the West Sussex Bereavement Guide, which contains helpful information and links.
Will parking be available to those attending?
Unfortunately, we do not have public parking at the venue, but there are car parks within walking distance of the venue.
Will refreshments be available?
We do not provide refreshments for attendees, but there are cafés within walking distance of the venue.
Can I speak to the media?
Families are not under any obligation to speak to the media, either at court, at their home address or on the phone. If a family wishes to speak to the media, then it is a good idea to alert the Coroner’s Officer, Family Liaison Officer or their solicitor (if one is in attendance).
Families may want to prepare a media statement in advance, to be read out at the end of the inquest. This can include important details about the deceased, which a family may want the public to know.
Who should the media contact?
See Media enquiries.
How will we know which witnesses will be called and on what day?
Details will be communicated via Latest news.
Will dates of the inquest be changed?
Any changes will be communicated via Latest news.