Government of New Brunswick

The Child Death Review Committee is chaired by the Deputy Chief Coroner and acts in an advisory capacity to the Chief Coroner.

The mandate of the Child Death Review Committee is to consider the facts and circumstances surrounding the sudden and unexpected deaths of New Brunswick children who were under the age of nineteen at the time of their death.

To conduct comprehensive reviews of all child deaths reported to a coroner in New Brunswick in an effort to understand how and why children die and using this information to take action to prevent future deaths and improve the health, safety and well-being of all children in New Brunswick.

This is accomplished by a staged review process. In Stage 1 the Committee will be notified on a monthly basis of all child deaths in New Brunswick for which the coroner seized jurisdiction and conducted an investigation. The information provided will include the date of birth, date of death, the death factor, the cause of death statement, the district in which the death occurred, the status of the investigation and, when finalized, the manner of death. The Committee may recommend, through the Chair, that the Chief Coroner refer a specific case(s) for review by the Committee.

The Stage 2 review will be a full committee review of a specific death. All deaths of children who, at the time of their death, were receiving services or their parents were receiving services from and/or were in the care of the Minister of Families and Children within the last twelve months and any other death at the discretion of the Chief Coroner will be referred to the Committee for a full review. The chairperson shall have discretion as to whether or not a child who has died of natural causes will be subject to a full review.

The objectives of the Committee shall be:

  • To review the manner and cause of death;
  • To comment upon relevant protocols, policies and procedures, standards and legislation as to whether they were followed and as to their adequacy;
  • To comment upon linkages and coordination of services with relevant parties as to whether they were sufficient and adequate;
  • To make recommendations that would lead to improvements in order to prevent future deaths and improve the health, safety and well-being of New Brunswick children;
  • To submit a written report within 60 days of a referral of a death from the Chief Coroner and shall include information as detailed in Appendix A. The Chief Coroner may extend the 60 day time period upon the written request of the Committee chair.

The membership of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chief Coroner as follows:

  • A person appointed as a coroner for the Province of New Brunswick. This person shall be the Chairperson.
  • A Police Officer.
  • A Paediatrician.
  • A University Social Work professor nominated by the Director of the Social Work Department of a New Brunswick University.
  • A representative from the Aboriginal community
  • A Lawyer
  • A Pathologist

Other individuals/professionals may be invited by the Committee on an ad hoc basis to assist in the conducting of reviews.

The Chief Coroner may remove any member from the committee for cause including, but not limited to, a breach of the Oath of Confidentiality, conduct unbecoming a member of a professional committee and amendments to the terms of reference of the Committee such that changes to the membership are warranted.