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Coroner ordered to change 'cab-rank' burial release policy

Coroner ordered to change 'cab-rank' burial release policy

Senior coroner Mary Hassell had said she would not fast-track inquests based on religion
A London coroner has been ordered by the High Court to change her "cab-rank" queuing policy for handling burials after it was ruled "unlawful".Senior coroner Mary Hassell had said she would not fast-track inquests based on religion.Under Jewish and Islamic law, bodies must be buried on the day of death or as soon as possible afterwards.Her jurisdiction covers north London which is home to large communities of orthodox Jews and Muslims.Lord Justice Singh said the policy set by Ms Hassell was discriminatory and must be quashed.
'Sensitive area'
Sitting with Mrs Justice Whipple, he said: "We hope that, with appropriate advice from others, including the chief coroner and perhaps after consultation with relevant bodies in the community, the defendant can draft a new policy which meets the needs of all concerned, including protection of the legal rights of all members of the community."We are hopeful that a satisfactory solution can be found in this sensitive area."Lawyers representing religious groups, who brought the legal challenge, argued Ms Hassell's stance ignored "deeply held beliefs" of certain religious communities.They said Ms Hassell's policy was unlawful and breached the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.The court previously heard the coroner's patch covered the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, which between them have "sizeable" Jewish and Muslim minority populations.
London
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