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Question

109. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the recruitment and competition process for coroners. [7520/19]

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if coroners are subject to a system of periodic appraisal; and if so, the person or body the appraisal is carried out by. [7521/19]

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if coroners are required to engage in a form of continuing professional development while holding the role of coroner. [7522/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 to 111, inclusive, together.
The legislation governing the recruitment and appointment of coroners is set out in the Coroners Act, 1962, as amended. With the exception of Dublin, the appointment of coroners is a matter for the local authority in whose area the coroner is to perform his or her duties.
The coroner is a statutory officer exercising a quasi-judicial function and in relation to the conduct of their duties they are independent in the performance of their role. The Deputy will appreciate therefore, that neither I, nor my Department, have any role in relation to the appraisal of the performance of a coroner in regard to their conduct of a death investigation. The coroner is, however, subject to judicial review in relation to the conduct of their functions.
While there are no formal requirements in statute for coroners to engage in continuing professional development. The Coroners Society of Ireland holds training days for coroners throughout the year. The annual conference of the Society provides a platform for considerable exchange of views with experts and a significant learning agenda on matters of interest or concern to the coronial function. My Department is happy to support the annual conference and my officials will always attend where possible.
Coroners are drawn from the medical or legal professions. In addition, the Law Society which represents Solicitors and the Bar Council which represents Barristers both require members to engage in a process of Continual Professional Development. Coroners who are doctors will also benefit from their ongoing involvement with relevant medical authorities.