Niue’s Justice Department have confirmed two requests for inquests were received by their offices earlier this year pertaining to two separate deaths.
Both requests were submitted by the respective families.
The most recent request was presented to one of two of Niue’s Commissioners who’d approved to proceed with the request and directives were sought out from the Chief Justice on how the matter was to be progressed.
Both Inquests are currently before the Court awaiting the findings of the Coroner.
The Coronial process includes involvement by Health, Justice and Police Departments.
Niue’s Commissioners and JPs have undergone training to up-skill over the past few years with the anticipation this would strengthen their ability to act jointly as Coroners in the future. This would aid in such decision making and local judicial capacity. Two Coroners have provided such training having been to Niue several times.
All inquests are heard in the Coroner’s court as required under the Inquest Act 1964. At all times the sensitive nature of such cases is always acknowledged furthermore the right of families to seek answers – with the Inquest Act being the primary legislation for these cases.
Final determination of the inquests and proceedings will be revealed by the Chief Justice in due course.