News & Resources

No duty for the MoJ to appoint a medical referee for an unlawful crematorium

10th December 2019

Emily Wilsdon, instructed by Angelina Kennedy (GLD) successfully represented the Secretary of State for Justice at a judicial review permission hearing, before Mr Justice Griffiths in Aspire Memoria Limited v Secretary of State for Justice.

Section 5 of the Cremation Act 1902 prohibits the construction of a crematorium less than 50 yards from a public highway. The Claimant had constructed a crematorium knowingly in breach of this provision.

The MoJ subsequently refused to appoint a medical referee for the unlawful crematorium. The Claimant challenged this decision.

The Court found that it was not arguable that the MoJ should have granted the application for appointment of a medical referee. The scope of the duty to appoint a medical referee pursuant to regulations 6 and 7 of the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 could not extend to applications made in relation to crematoria constructed in breach of the 1902 Act. The criminal offence created by s. 8(1) of the 1902 Act did apply to breaches of s. 5 of the Act.

The Secretary of State had therefore acted lawfully and permission was refused.

Related Barristers

Emily Wilsdon

Emily Wilsdon
Year of Call: 2011

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