Coroners Act
(CHAPTER 63A)

(Original Enactment: Act 14 of 2010)

REVISED EDITION 2012
(31st October 2012)
An Act to consolidate the law relating to Coroners’ inquiries.
[2nd January 2011]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Coroners Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“body” means a dead person, and includes any part of a person (whether or not the identity of the person concerned is known when the part is discovered or is later determined) —
(a)without which no person can live; or
(b)discovered in such circumstances or such state that it is probable that the person is dead,
but does not include a foetus or a still-born child within the meaning of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (Cap. 267);
“cause of death” includes not only the apparent cause of death as ascertainable by inspection or examination of the body, but also all matters necessary to enable an opinion to be formed as to the manner in which the deceased came by his death;
Coroner” means a Coroner appointed under section 3(1), and includes the State Coroner;
“forensic pathologist” means a pathologist appointed under section 4(1) as a forensic pathologist;
“health-care practitioner” means a person providing any of the services specified in the First Schedule, but does not include a medical practitioner;
“Health Sciences Authority” means the Health Sciences Authority established under section 3 of the Health Sciences Authority Act (Cap. 122C);
“hospital” means any premises used or intended to be used for the reception, lodging, treatment and care of persons who require medical treatment or care or who suffer from any disease, injury or disability of mind or body, and includes a maternity home and a nursing home;
“inquiry” means an inquiry into any death held by a Coroner under Part VI;
“investigation” means an investigation into a death conducted by a police officer, a Coroner or a forensic pathologist, and includes any post-mortem examination;
“medical clinic” means any premises used or intended to be used by a medical practitioner, a health-care practitioner or any other person —
(a)for the diagnosis or treatment of persons suffering from, or believed to be suffering from, any disease, injury or disability of mind or body; or
(b)for curing or alleviating any abnormal condition of the human body by the application of any apparatus, equipment, instrument or device,
but does not include a hospital;
“medical practitioner” means a registered medical practitioner under the Medical Registration Act (Cap. 174) who has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act;
“medical treatment or care” includes any operation or any surgical, diagnostic or therapeutic procedure;
“pathologist” means a medical practitioner who is registered as a specialist in pathology under the Medical Registration Act;
“place of custody” means any place in which any person may lawfully be held, confined, detained or committed;
“properly interested person” means —
(a)any person who is a spouse or next-of-kin of the deceased;
(b)any person who is a personal representative of the deceased; or
(c)any other person who, in the opinion of the Coroner, should be regarded as a properly interested person by reason of any particular interest in an inquiry;
“Registrar-General” means the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths appointed under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (Cap. 267);
“reportable death” means any death the circumstances of which are set out in the Second Schedule;
“Singapore-registered aircraft” means an aircraft registered in Singapore under the Air Navigation Act (Cap. 6);
“Singapore-registered vessel” means a vessel registered in Singapore under the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 179);
“State Coroner” means the State Coroner appointed under section 3(1).
(2)  For the purposes of this Act, a person is in official custody while he is —
(a)held, confined, detained or committed under any written law in any place of custody;
(b)proceeding to or from any such place of custody in the company of a police officer or other person charged with the person’s custody; or
(c)being taken into or escaping from such custody.
[NZ CA, s. 9; Malaysia CPC, s. 328; NSW HCCA, s. 4; PHMCA, s. 2; CPC, s. 271; HK Coroners Ord, s. 2]
Appointment of State Coroner and Coroners
3.—(1)  The President may, on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, appoint a State Coroner and such other Coroners as are necessary for the proper administration of this Act.
(2)  No person shall be appointed a Coroner unless he is a judicial officer appointed under the State Courts Act (Cap. 321) and, in the case of the State Coroner, unless he is a District Judge appointed under that Act.
[Act 5 of 2014 wef 07/03/2014]
(3)  The State Coroner shall be charged with the general administration of this Act and the exercise of the functions and duties imposed upon him by this Act.
(4)  The State Coroner may authorise or appoint any person to assist him in the exercise of his functions and duties under this Act whether generally or in any particular case.
(5)  Where the State Coroner is temporarily unable, whether by illness, absence or any other reason, to perform his functions and duties for any period, the Presiding Judge of the State Courts appointed under the State Courts Act may appoint another Coroner to act as State Coroner for that period.
[Act 5 of 2014 wef 07/03/2014]
[Act 5 of 2014 wef 14/04/2014]
(6)  All appointments made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette.
[SCA, s. 10; NPPA, s. 29]
Appointment of forensic pathologists
4.—(1)  The Chief Executive of the Health Sciences Authority may appoint any pathologist as a forensic pathologist for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  All appointments made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette.