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Jewish organisation granted a judicial review in religious burials row with coroner Mary Hassell

PUBLISHED: 15:20 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:39 02 February 2018

Mary Hassell is the senior coroner for inner north London coroners' court. Picture credit: Archant.

Mary Hassell is the senior coroner for inner north London coroners' court. Picture credit: Archant.

Archant

An Orthodox Jewish organisation has been granted the right to launch a judicial review over a decision by a senior coroner to stop prioritising religious burials.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs has written to Ms Hasssell.  Picture: Mike Brooke.Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs has written to Ms Hasssell. Picture: Mike Brooke.

Yesterday, the Adath Yisroel Burial Society (AYBS) won its first leg to get the controversial decision by north London coroner Mary Hassell reversed.

Ms Hassell – whose remit covers Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden – has come under intense criticism in recent weeks from local Jewish and Muslim communities over the decision.

Her decision raised eyebrows as both religions call for bodies to be buried as quickly as possible after death, often the same day, and an invasive autopsy should be avoided.

Ms Hassell had previously said that no death will be prioritised on religious grounds.

Two weeks ago, John Biggs, Tower Hamlets mayor, told the Advertiser he had written to her to express his concern about the loss of confidence in her services following her ‘insensitive and discriminatory’ controversial decision.

Granting the judicial review Mr Justice Holman said the case ‘clearly raises issues of considerable importance to the Jewish and Muslim communities’.

A date has yet to be scheduled for the final hearing.

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