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Coroner May Hassell was right and the High Court is wrong

10 May, 2018

Coroner Mary Hassell

• THE High Court judges who ruled that coroner Mary Hassell’s “cab rank” policy is unlawful, describing it as “irrational” and “discriminatory”, and those who support that ruling, must surely be aware that prioritising the burials of a particular group or groups can only be achieved by pushing the burials of other people further down the queue, (Coroner in U-turn after court ruling, May 3).

Ms Hassell has previously stated that as coroner she is there to serve the Orthodox Jewish community but not only that community and the “cab rank” policy ensured fairness to all.

The obligation of some religions to hold prompt burials presumably arose for practical reasons in hot countries in the days before refrigeration. This is not the situation here or now.

All people of all faiths or none have beliefs and sensitivities with regard to the treatment after death of their loved ones.

Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights supports the right to “practise one’s religion or beliefs subject only to limitations to protect… the rights and freedoms of others”. Those rights and freedoms are infringed by this ruling.

FRANCES LEE
NW1

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