What is a Pre-Inquest Review ('PIR') Hearing?

If a full inquest can't be held within days of the death the Coroner will 'open' the inquest at a short hearing called a Pre-Inquest Review Hearing (PIR). A PIR will be held if there are particular issues of law or procedure that need to be determined by the Coroner before the final inquest, for example.

During the short hearing a member of the Coroner's staff will give evidence about the identify of the deceased (person who's died) and make preliminary plans for the final inquest hearing. These plans will include details of:

  • the witnesses who need to give evidence
  • the time, date and place of the final inquest
  • how long the inquest it likely to last
  • whether a jury will be needed
  • whether any other hearings are needed.

The hearing is in public. This means that anyone can attend, although it's unusual for anyone other than the Coroner and the Coroner’s staff to be there.