In May 2012 the Attorney-General, the Hon Robert Clark MP, provided the following reference to the Council pursuant to s110 of the Coroners Act 2008 (Vic):

The Coronial Council is requested to provide advice on:

  • the application of legal principles  regarding suicide, including the operation of the presumption against suicide under the common law and consideration of the evidence broadly considered necessary to establish the mental element of suicide
  • whether a change to the existing law regarding the standard of proof for a finding of suicide is desirable
  • policy that enables a consistent approach to coronial determination of intent, and
  • the reporting of suicide in the media, including an appropriate position for the Coroners Court to adopt on this issue.

In formulating its advice, the council may have regard to  the interests of families, the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, public health bodies, and any other relevant entities.

The council is also invited to make recommendations or any further comments that it deems appropriate regarding the issue of suicide reporting in the coronial jurisdiction.

The council provided its report to the Attorney-General on 16 June 2014.

Coronial Council of Victoria
Coronial Council of Victoria

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