Chief Coroner Speech

New appointments of coroners will be for five years, coroners will retire at 70, and only legally qualified persons will be appointed, Judge Peter Thornton QC, the first holder of the new post of chief coroner for England and Wales, has confirmed.

In his inaugural speech, at the coroners’ annual conference in September, Judge Thornton said the new rules will not apply to existing coroners, although an assistant coroner would need to be legally qualified to move up to deputy or senior coroner.

Judge Thornton, who presided over the inquest into the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in 2009, was appointed in May.