Coroners: Gambling

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 1st February 2021.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Labour, Sheffield Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of gambling being recorded as a relevant factor, where appropriate, in Coroner's proceedings.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

As set out in the response to the report by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, Gambling Harm—Time for Action, the Government recognises that quality information on the circumstances leading to self-harm and suicide, including gambling issues, can support better interventions.

However, as the Committee observes, whilst a coroner may be made aware of information about the motivation or contributory factors in a suicide, it is generally beyond the coroner’s jurisdiction to determine why someone died, with the aim of the inquest being to determine who died, and how, when and where they died. This is for a number of reasons, including the fact that a coroner’s investigation is a fact-finding exercise and coroners are not permitted by statute to appear to determine any question of civil or criminal liability against another person.

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