Department for Culture Media and Sport
treasure act 1996
The Treasure Act 1996 governs what is defined as treasure and how treasure finds must be reported and dealt with in England and Wales.
The Act was revised in 2003 to give a wider definition of treasure.
Coroners and Justice Act
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 was passed in November 2009. It includes measures to reform the Treasure investigation system by removing the jurisdiction from local coroners and passing cases to a national Coroner for Treasure.
The Act also amends the Treasure Act 1996 by introducing a duty on a person who acquires (buys, inherits or is given) an object which they believe to be treasure to report it to the Coroner for Treasure. This will only come into effect once the Act has been implemented.
A further amendment enables a finder or acquirer of treasure to report that to a designated officer instead of the Coroner for treasure. The Secretary of State will be able to specify who is a designated officer by statutory instrument.
Other changes to the Treasure Act
The Treasure Act 1996 is changing. Proposed amendments are being made under the Coroners Bill and administration for cases where the British Museum has no interest in the object has been handed over from DCMS to the British Museum.
The Coroners and Justice Bill
Full details of The Coroners and Justice Bill can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.
Transfer of administrative responsibility to the British Museum
Administrative functions related to treasure, such as supporting the Treasure Valuation Committee, have transferred to the British Museum. DCMS remains responsible for cases where the British Museum has an interest in the object. Visit the British Museum website.
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