Complaints Procedure

The aim of the Coroner Service is to provide an efficient and sympathetic service to the bereaved and all stakeholders that are touched by it.

There are many stakeholders (E.g. the Police, Hospitals, GP’s, Registrar’s, Pathologists, Medical Examiners) contributing to the service and upon which the Coroner relies and does not always have control over.

In the event that our service does not meet the standards that it ought, we will aim to address your complaint courteously and within a reasonable time frame.

The timing of the response will have to be balanced with the significant and complex workload of the Coronial service, as well, possibly, of input from other stakeholders.

Hence, we ask for your patience and understanding whilst we address it.

The pathway for your complaint will depend upon the nature of your complaint.

Set out below is a guide to where/to whom your complaint may best be directed.

A Coroner decision or Inquest challenge

To challenge a Judicial decision of a Coroner.


  • In relation to a Coroner’s decision not to investigate the circumstances of a death referred to him/her,
  • Directing a Post Mortem Examination
  • or following the conclusion of an Inquest

then the following extract from the Ministry of Justice Guide to Coroner Services may assist you:-

You may challenge a coroner’s decision or an inquest conclusion.

If you are thinking about doing this, you should first seek advice from a lawyer with expertise in this area of the law. Some bereavement support organisations may also be able to offer advice.

If you decide to proceed, you need to make an application to the High Court for judicial review of the coroner’s decision or conclusion.

You should do this as soon as possible and within three months of the end of the investigation/the decision you wish to challenge.

There is a separate power under which the Attorney General, or someone who has received the Attorney General’s permission to do so, may apply to the High Court for an investigation to be carried out if a coroner has not held one; or for another investigation if this is in the interests of justice (e.g. because new evidence has come to light). There is no time limit for these applications.

Coroner’s Conduct

If you wish to complain about the personal conduct of a Coroner

E.g. If it is alleged that a Coroner has been rude, or offensive to you then the following extract from the Ministry of Justice Guide to Coroner Services may assist you:-

If you are dissatisfied with a coroner’s personal conduct you should normally raise this in the first instance with the coroner concerned.

If the coroner is unable to deal with your complaint satisfactorily, you may complain to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) (formerly known as the Office for Judicial Complaints).

Examples of potential personal misconduct would be the use of insulting, racist or sexist language; or unreasonable delays in holding an inquest or replying to correspondence.

"There is no charge for complaining to the JCIO  via the JCIO website at

Coroner’s Officer Conduct

Coroner’s Officers are employed by South Wales and Dyfed Powys Police forces.  Should you wish to make a complaint about the conduct of a Coroner’s Officer, please submit your complaint to the Local Authority in the first instance.

Your complaint will then be forwarded to the relevant Police Force who will then respond to your complaint.

Complaints about the standard of service received.

(This must not be confused with challenging a Coroner’s Judicial Decision – how to progress such a legal challenge is set out above)

If you wish to complain about the way a coroner or his or her staff handled an investigation (for example if you feel the standards in the Coroner Investigations and The Guide to Coroner’s Services for Bereaved people booklets are not being met. This might be in terms of a delayed response or absent paperwork), you should first write to the coroner, and copy your letter to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council who fund the service. 

You may also complain direct to the Local Authority.

If your complaint relates to any concerns with communication from our office, again you may complain direct to the Local Authority via the County Council complaints procedure. Comments, compliments and complaints | Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (

If you are still dissatisfied after its response you may complain to the Local Government Ombudsman, at, or by calling 30 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983. Alternatively you may complain in writing to: The Local Government Ombudsman PO Box 4771 Coventry CV4 0EH There is no charge to complain about the standard of service from a coroner’s office.

You may also complain to the Public Ombudsman for Wales at