RIII RELATIVES PLAN LEGAL CHALLENGE
A GROUP of relatives of King Richard III have won the right to challenge a plan to rebury his remains in Leicester.
The king's body was unearthed from a council car park last year.
His descendants want his remains to be reburied in York, claiming that is what the king himself would have wanted.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told the Plantagenet Alliance at a hearing in London: "The archaeological discovery of the mortal remains of a former King of England after 500 years is without precedent.
"In my judgment, it is plainly arguable that there was a duty at common law to consult widely as to how and where Richard III's remains should appropriately be re-interred.
"I grant permission to the claimant to bring judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Justice and the University of Leicester on all grounds".
The judge urged both parties to treat the matter with care.
"It is ironic that the Wars of the Roses appear to be returning whence they started, the Temple.
"Legend has it that John Beaufort and Richard Plantagenet picked the symbolic red and white roses in Inner and Middle Temple gardens.
"I would, however, urge the parties to avoid embarking on the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2.
"In my view, it would be unseemly, undignified and unedifying to have a legal tussle over these royal remains.
"This would not be appropriate, or in the country's interests.
"The discovery of Richard III's remains engages interests beyond those of the immediate parties, and touches on Sovereign, State and Church.
"For these reasons, I would strongly recommend that parties immediately consider referring the fundamental question - as to where and how Richard III is reburied - to an independent advisory panel made up of suitable experts and Privy Councillors, who can consult and receive representations from all interested parties and make suitable recommendations with reasonable speed."
Richard was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars in Leicester, which was subsequently lost during redevelopment.
The full text of the statement can be read below:
The Plantagenet Alliance Limited has received the following from the High Court in London:
‘IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND DIRECTED BY THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE HADDON-CAVE THAT:
1. The Claimant’s application for Permission to bring Judicial Review proceedings against the first (Secretary of State for Justice) and second (The University of Leicester) defendants is granted on all Grounds’.
2. Time for bringing such Judicial Review proceedings be extended as necessary
3. The first and second defendant shall, within 21 days, in accordance with their respective duties of candour, each give disclosure of all correspondence, notes and other documents relevant to (i) the circumstances surrounding the original application and grant of the License and (ii) all subsequent discussions and exchanges concerning the remains of Richard III and their re-interment.
4. There shall be a Protective Costs Order whereby the First and Second Defendants shall be prevented from recovering their costs of these proceedings from the Claimant.
5. The Claimant’s own costs of these proceedings shall be capped at a level to be set by the Court. The Claimant shall apply to Mr Justice Haddon-Cave sitting as the Vacation Judge in Court 37 in the week of the 23rd September 2013 to set the cap level, on notice to the other parties.
6. The substantive hearing of these proceedings to be set down for hearing next term (estimate 1 day). Skeletons may be exchanged 1 week before the substantive hearing.