Search

Court date set for coroner Mary Hassell’s clash with religious groups over prioritising burials

PUBLISHED: 15:48 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 08 February 2018

A general view of the High Court on the Strand, London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

A general view of the High Court on the Strand, London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

A High Court judge today said the judicial review into senior coroner Mary Hassell’s refusal to prioritise religious people’s burials should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Lord Justice Singh also revealed the hearing would take place on March 27 and 28.

The hearing would have been set to have taken place this year, but the judge has ordered it to be brought forward.

It is expected to last a day and a half.

The row broke out in October between the inner north London coroner, whose remit covers Islington, Camden, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, and Stamford Hill’s Adath Yisroel Burial Society (AYBS).

It began when Ms Hassell cancelled a 2015 agreement to allow some Jewish people who die at home to be taken straight to the Mount Carmel funeral home so religious rituals can be observed. She claimed the burial society had violated the agreement and harassed her staff – something the society denies.

Instead, Ms Hassell is now operating a “cab-rank” system, where deaths are dealt with on a first come, first served basis. The Jewish and Muslim faiths attach special importance to the length of time between death and burial and representatives say Ms Hassell’s decision has left families unable to properly grieve.

She has until March 2 to give any evidence to the court justifying her decision.

The judge also said the claim should be heard by a divisional court. This means it would be presided over by at least two judges, including at least one Lord Justice.

Asher Gratt, a representative of AYBS, said: “We are grateful to the court for recognising the pressing need for this judicial review application to be heard as soon as practicable and for taking appropriate steps. Every day that Coroner Hassell maintains her decision she increases the anguish and suffering caused to members of the Jewish and Muslim communities.”

Earlier today, the London Assembly backed a motion from Andrew Dismore, assembly member for Barnet and Camden, condemning Ms Hassell for not responding to the requirements of Jewish and Muslim bereaved families.

In the motion, he accused her of having a “hidden agenda” and said she may be using the debate to get more resources and better premises.

“Whatever the reason, her approach is utterly unacceptable,” he said.

Ms Hassell has not responded to requests for comment.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The goalkeeper called time on her career after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with London Bees and hailed the support of her team and the fans

Yesterday, 16:30

The Argentinean said: “Daniel Levy and I have spoken at length about our aspirations for Tottenham Hotspur. We both share the same philosophies

Yesterday, 16:26

Three remarkable women in Hackney have been honoured at the third annual I Love Hackney Mayor’s Civic Awards.

Yesterday, 15:55

For the past year, passing through the London Overground station at Hackney Wick has felt like walking through a construction site.

Yesterday, 15:30

The O’s director of football has had two bouts of depression in the past, but is enjoying life at Brisbane Road and will be there on Sunday

Yesterday, 14:17

A Hackney drug dealer’s remarkable journey out of crime and conversion to Islam has been documented in a pair of films.

Yesterday, 13:31

The 17-year-old caught the eye for Heybridge Swifts and Leatherhead last season and has agreed a two-year contract with O’s

Yesterday, 13:00

London Lions saw their hopes of landing the BBL play-off Championship title shattered by Leicester Riders at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists