All change in the coroner's courts - new decision changes approach to suicide conclusion

The High Court in a seminal decision has changed our thinking on the standard of proof required for a conclusion of suicide, whether recorded in short-form or as a narrative statement.

Instead of the criminal standard of proof, we should use the civil standard of the balance of probabilities going forward – on the basis that such a conclusion should only be reached if there is sufficient evidence to justify it.

To learn more about the decision of the High Court in R (Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner Oxfordshire and others, head over to Serjeants’ Inn Chambers where you can read Bridget Dolan QC and Debra Powell QC’s erudite blog post: This was probably suicide: the criminal standard of proof is no longer required

Our content explained

Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

Posted by


Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R


Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.


Mills & Reeve system for employees.