Updating the Coroners Act (closed)

This engagement is now closed. It ran from 2018-07-13 to 2018-08-24.

Find the results

Download the Coroners Act – What We Heard report from yukon.ca.

Results at a glance

Qualifications and term of appointment for the Chief Coroner

  • Opinions were generally split about whether the updated Coroners Act should prescribe the qualifications and term of appointment for the Chief Coroner.
  • We decided that the Act would remain silent on the term and qualifications of the Chief Coroner. This will ensure we have a broad pool of candidates. It will also ensure that the Chief Coroner can remain in the position for as long as they continue to perform their duties.



  • Most respondents were in favour of both the Chief Coroner and the Minister of Justice being able to call inquests.
  • Most respondents wanted a process for families to request an inquest. Provisions to address these issues are present in the updated Act.
  • Respondents were split on who should preside over an inquest. A small majority believed that the Chief Coroner should preside over inquests rather than a senior lawyer or judge.
  • Inquest law is an increasingly complex area, and we felt it was important to ensure that individuals trained in law preside over inquests. The updated Coroners Act allows the Minister of Justice to maintain a list of eligible senior lawyers or judges that the Chief Coroner can choose from when an inquest has been called.


Participation by the numbers

  • 224 completed surveys (218 online; 6 submitted by mail)
  • 1 letter/memorandum of response received by the Minister or the department
  • Weekly meetings with the Coroners Service throughout summer 2018.

What was this engagement about?

The Coroners Act came about in 1958, and has not been substantially updated since then.  We know the public wants us to make sure that all unexplained or unexpected deaths in Yukon are investigated thoroughly by coroners who work in a professional, efficient and impartial Coroner’s Service. This can only be done if we update the Coroners Act to create modern legislation that is up-to-date to similar laws in other jurisdictions.

How will my input make a difference?

Your input will help us determine what issues should be covered in the new Act. We have an idea of what issues to cover in the new Act, but your feedback will help us uncover new issues or viewpoints we may have missed. Your input will help us created the most useful Act possible. 

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