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‘Cab rank’ system to be judicially reviewed

On 2nd February the High Court of England and Wales granted permission for a judicial review of a coroner’s policy of applying the ‘cab rank’ rule for dealing with unexplained deaths.


Jewish funeral organiser Adath Yisroel Burial Society (AYBS) issued the legal proceedings following a dispute with Ms Mary Hassell, senior coroner for Inner North London, after she said she would not prioritise any death for religious reasons. Under Jewish and Islamic law, bodies must be buried on the day of death or as soon as possible afterwards.  Ms Hassell previously denied that the policy was unfair, stating

“I believe the cab-rank rule is the fairest way.  No family is less important to me than any other.”


In granting the application for judicial review the court said

“This claim clearly raises issues of considerable importance to the Jewish and Muslim communities.”


Any final decision of the judicial review must apply to the whole of England and Wales, the court emphasised.


 A date for the substantive hearing has not yet been set.


The Guardian’s article can be read here.

Religious Law