Proposed changes to Victoria's coronial system seem to be more about trying to help the system cope with inadequate resources, rather than achieving justice for families and avoiding preventable deaths, lawyers say.
The reforms are set for debate in parliament as early as this week and the Federation of Community Legal Centres (FCLC) fears they will hurt, rather than strengthen the system.
The organisation has criticised moves to narrow the time frame within which families can appeal the refusal to hold or reopen an inquest or to challenge inquest findings.
FCLC senior policy advisor Dr Chris Atmore said the changes would place stricter time constraints on families who are already without adequate information or legal help.
She feared the proposed changes were an attempt to help the system cope with inadequate resources.
"There is no substitute for properly funding the system to do its job," she said.
Another change proposed would see inquests into deaths in care or custody no longer mandatory if the death occurred due to natural causes.
Dr Atmore said deaths in care or custody should remain mandatory if they were to receive the appropriate level of scrutiny.
While she welcomed broadening grounds for appeal, she wanted better legal resources to help families take advantage of this.
Six families who have gone through the Coroners Court system will join the FCLC to speak at a press conference about their concerns on Tuesday.
The Federation has also written to Attorney General Robert Clark, expressing its concerns and urging further discussion before any amendments proceed to debate in parliament.