The family court’s jurisdiction to direct the burial of a child: Re K

11th August 2017

It will be rarely that the court is confronted with the dilemma of how to effect the appropriate burial of a child and to ensure that the body be disposed of with all proper respect and decency and, if possible, without further delay. It is, sadly, not uncommon for the court to have to rule between disputing parties as to who should have the authority (and responsibility) to arrange the disposal, and thus, coincidentally, usually, where the body is to be buried and perhaps according to what rites, but the question of whether the court has jurisdiction to order that a body be buried, due to a delay in making the arrangements by those who would normally be expected to do so appears not to have been decided until Hayden J ruled on the topic very recently Re K (A Child: deceased) [2017] EWHC 1083 (Fam), [2017] FLR (forthcoming).

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Christopher Sharp QC

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