In an inquest into the stabbing deaths of two men, the Deputy State Coroner decided not to permit oral cross-examination of a man who had admitted to police he had stabbed them in self-defence. Instead, because of expert evidence the witness was suffering from PTSD, the Deputy State Coroner directed that questions be submitted in writing, for the witness to answer.
The families of the deceased sought judicial review of the decision. They submitted they had a right to cross-examine the witness in the usual way, his having been called by the Deputy State Coroner to give evidence.
Acting Justice Rafter determined that the Deputy State Coroner’s decision was within the general power in s 35 of the Coroners Act 2003, and dismissed the application.
Matthew Hickey appeared for the Attorney-General, instructed by the Crown Solicitor.
The judgment is published here.