Yukon Coroner's Service - Department of Justice- Government of Yukon

Department of Justice

Coroner's Office

Yukon Coroner's Service

About
Yukon Coroners' Role
History
Brochure (print or view online)


ABOUT

Yukon Coroner's Service serves the living through high quality death investigations and inquests to ensure that no death will be overlooked, concealed or ignored. The findings are used to make recommendations to help improve public safety and prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

We speak for the dead to protect the living

Yukon Coroner’s Service is led by the chief coroner from the Whitehorse office and supported with additional coroners in the community.

Guiding principles 

  • We are a fact finding service, not a fault finding service.
  • We provide independent service to the people of the community.
  • We serve:
    1. Firstly, the deceased and the deceased's relatives and friends;
    2. Secondly, society as a whole; and,
    3. Thirdly, government agencies and other organizations.


YUKON CORONERS ...

  • Are quasi-judicial investigators, independent from government, law enforcement agencies and health authorities.
  • Review the circumstances of each death and plan for the required investigation (view investigative timeline >>).
  • Determine the identity of the deceased and the cause of death. They classify the death as: natural, accident, suicide, homicide or undetermined.
  • Conduct fact-finding investigations into deaths that occur in Yukon that are unnatural, unexpected, unexplained or unattended; coroners do not assign fault or blame.
  • Identify risk factors to prevent future deaths.

Coroners work with specialized experts, including RCMP, fire marshals, occupational health and safety (OH&S) persons, pathologists, forensic dentists, doctors and lawyers in order to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the investigation of death in Yukon. View investigative timeline >>


HISTORY OF THE CORONER

  • The duties of the coroner in the territory have changed very little since the establishment of the Coroners Act in 1887.
  • Since the growth of industrialization in the 19th century, the coroner has played an important role by making recommendations to prevent similar death.
  • There are 2 systems in Canada for investigating the medical cause and manner of sudden death:
    1) Coroner System: includes medical, administrative and judicial elements, such as conducting public inquiries (inquests).
    2) Medical Examiner System: includes medical and administrative elements.