Making information about a suicide public

Limited information is allowed to be reported, broadcast or posted on the internet without the coroner’s permission. Recently, the law about suicide reporting changed to allow more information to be published.

Deaths on or after 22 July 2016

It may be reported, broadcast or posted on the internet that a death is a suspected suicide before the coroner releases their finding.

If the coroner finds the person did commit suicide, the media and any member of the public can report, broadcast or post information that the death is a suicide.

People cannot make public:

  • the method or any suspected method of suicide or
  • any detail (for example, the place of death) that suggests the method or any suspected method of suicide.

Someone who publicises this information about a suicide without the coroner’s permission is committing an offence. They may be fined.

Find out how to apply to the Chief Coroner for an exemption from the reporting restrictions

Deaths before 22 July 2016

Usually, only the person’s name and age is allowed to be reported, broadcast or posted on the internet before the coroner releases their finding.

If the coroner finds the person did commit suicide, the media and any member of the public can ask for a copy of the coroner’s finding but people can report, broadcast or post only:

  • the person’s name 
  • their address 
  • their occupation
  • that their death was suicide.

Someone who publicises anything else about a suicide without the coroner’s permission is committing an offence. They may be fined.

Sometimes, the coroner will release more information if it’s in the public interest.

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