The Adath Yisrael Burial Society has today been granted the right to judicial review of the ‘cab rank’ protocol of the St Pancras Coroner, Mary Hassell. Mr Justice Holman  has ordered a directions hearing to take place in the near future to fix a date for the final hearing.

In a very unusual step Judge Holman granted permission for the Judicial Review to go forward at what the Judge refers to as “this very early stage” even before waiting for the response from Coroner Hassell. The Judge states that the claim “…clearly raises issues of considerable importance to the Jewish and Muslim communities.” The Judge goes on to refer to the case as “important” and recognises that “Any decision in this case cannot be specific to Inner North London but must clearly apply for the whole of England and Wales.”

The Judge then takes another unusual step by joining the Chief Coroner for England and Wales as an interested party, and requires the Chief Coroner to attend the directions hearing.

“Given the unusual speed with which the Court has given permission for the Judicial Review to go forward, the decision to join the Chief Coroner, and the other comments by the Judge, it is clear that the Court recognises both the importance of the case and the need to deal with it promptly” commented Trevor Asserson, solicitor for the AYBS.

Asher Gratt on behalf of the ABYS said: “Ms Hassell has already lost several injunctions and a Judicial Review, and has also been disciplined by the Judicial Conduct Investigation Office but she simply carries on with her unhelpful and rigid conduct. For four and a half years she has now been out of touch in meeting the needs of this diverse community and we hope that the Judicial Review will finally bring it to a close in allowing grieving families to bury their loved ones with dignity and compassion.