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Maughan, R (On the Application Of) v Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2019]

14 May 2019
Important Court of Appeal decision for all inquest lawyers.

An important judgment has now been received from the Court of Appeal on the case of Maughan, R (On the Application Of) v Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2019] which has determined that the correct standard of proof to be applied when deciding whether a deceased deliberately took their own life is the civil standard (balance of probabilities).

The Court also took the opportunity to address the requisite standard to be applied to conclusions of unlawful killing, and decided that the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) should remain.

We understand that in light of the significant implications of this decision the Court of Appeal has granted the appellant permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. It is clear that further guidance would be welcomed and we note Lord Justice Underhill's suggestion that clarification be specifically laid out in the Coroners rules.

The full judgment can be read here

Further Reading

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