The Law Society Gazette reports that, in a judgment handed down on 2 February, the High Court granted an application by the Adath Yisroel Burial Society to seek a judicial review of the policy of the Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, in applying the “cab rank” rule to burials and refusing to prioritise Jewish and Muslim burials.
Adath Yisroel had criticised “unnecessary bureaucratic delays” in releasing bodies for burial because, under Jewish (and Islamic) law, the deceased must be buried on the day of death or as soon as possible afterwards. Ms Hassell’s response had been that no death would be prioritised over any other because of the religion of the deceased or the family and that a “cab rank” rule was the fairest way in which to proceed.
According to the report, in granting the application Holman J said: “This claim clearly raises issues of considerable importance to the Jewish and Muslim communities” and added that any final decision of the judicial review must apply to the whole of England and Wales. [With thanks to Fr Jeff Leach for the lead.]
See also: Religion, law and the constitution: Coroners, Inquests and Religious Requirements-Where angels fear to tread.