In McGuigan, Re Application for Judicial Review  NIQB 38, Mrs McGuigan’s husband had been murdered in her presence on 13 August 2015  and she wanted his remains to be exhumed and reinterred in the same grave as their daughter .
Where the exclusive rights to burial have been purchased, a grave cannot be opened without the owner’s permission ; and Mr McGuigan’s mother, the owner of the exclusive rights of burial in the plot in which he was buried, refused her consent . She had previously refused her terminally-ill granddaughter’s request to be buried with her father . The Department for Communities refused to authorise the exhumation, citing its Revised policy guidance on exhumations, and Mrs McGuigan challenged that policy.
At a preliminary hearing, it was argued for Mrs McGuigan that refusing to consent to the exhumation of her husband was in breach of her rights under Article 8 ECHR (respect for private and family life. Continue reading