Gordons secures judicial review for Richard III's descendants

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  • It's believed that he wished to be buried in York and that should be respected.

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  • The excavation licence was given in September last year. It said that the body of R3 would be interred close by. The time for jud rev therefore ran out in December. Yet the judge has allowed a challenge well out of time for no good reason. The university has spent a fortune in time and money having basically been led to believe that nobody wanted to challenge the licence.

    Even worse, "This morning (16 August), Mr Justice Haddon-Cave granted the application on all grounds and issued a protective costs order to prevent the Government and the University of Leicester, the first and second defendants, from recovering costs from the claimants." So it's going to fall on the university and the taxpayer to deal with a bunch of people who want to fulfil the wishes of a traitorous child murderer.

    It's an atrocious decision.

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  • It has never been proved that Richard III killed the princes in the tower so the reference to him being a murderer is irrelevant however there is evidence that Edward was illegitimate. None of this is relevant however and I believe he should be laid to rest in Yorkminster.

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  • I've always been rather fond of Mr Justice Haddon Cave's wit. He always seems to bring a bit of levity to proceedings with his dry sense of humour.

    I also rather like the fact that people are still in a masssive flap over incidents that occured some 500 plus years ago. Only in Britain!

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  • How to consult these interested parties?
    UK citizens? Given that the two petitions together total fewer than 40,000 signatures (many of whom are not UK citizens) there doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest one way or the other. Short of a national referendum, this simply isn't possible.
    Richard's living descendants? Well, he has no descendants but even if we limit it to great-etc nephews and nieces, as the Plantagenet Alliance claim to be (though they have yet to offer any proof) that's somewhere between half a million and a million people. Clearly deeply, deeply impractical. Only two people have to date been shown by DNA testing to be descended from a sibling of Richard - and they're both in favour of Leicester.
    the wishes of Richard III himself, in so far as they can be ascertained or inferred: But they can't be ascertained or inferred. There is only baseless speculation. Richard never once said or did anything which even hinted at where he might want to be buried, largely because (I suspect) he was hoping to not be buried for quite some time.
    It's an extraordinary judgement, based on deeply flawed reasoning, and I suspect written more for the judge's amusement than for any serious legal reasons.

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  • What a brilliant judgement by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave! The total assumption by Leicester University and Leicester Cathedral that they would get their own way was particularly smug and, as it turns out, ill-founded. Whatever the ultimate decision, Mr Haddon-Cave has raised the flag for fairness and against the assumption by large and civic bodies that they must always triumph over ordinary people.

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  • Haddon-Cave J is not known as an easy judge for claimants (including environmental campaigners, anti-poverty groups, etc) to get permission to apply for judicial review from, especially in any case where the claimant has not acted very promptly in bringing the claim. His background is in aviation law and it has taken him a while to get acquainted with important concepts in admin law, e.g. how the duty of candour operates in JR proceedings.

    Of course, the Judge is entitled to a personal belief that some things (such as the burial place for Richard III) are of great public importance, compared with the general run of cases about living individuals that he may not find as compelling. But the decision as to how the discovery of Richard III should be dealt with, and whether the issue is of any public importance at all, is surely a political question rather than one for a judge. I daresay there are quite a few Admin Court judges who would have thought the matter of no real consequence at all either to the public at large, or to the ridiculous people claiming to be Richard III's descendants but whose claim to any special affinity with the deceased suffers from the remoteness that comes with 500 years of separation (not to mention the fact that the descendancy is shared with aound a sixth of the UK population).

    Really it is a matter for the ecclesiastical authorities, since surely the Church of England cannot be compelled to bury someone within a particular (cathedral) premises, contrary to the wishes of, amongst others, the Queen, who is the Church's Supreme Governor. If the public think the Govt should spend a lot of money consulting very widely on where one dead body should be buried, then the public can express that view to their elected representatives. The courts should be slow to intervene in something like this.

    The judgment may increase the Judge's status as an interesting dinner party guest, but it is a disaster for Leicester University and the City of Leicester, who have already incurred very substantial sunk costs in reliance on a decision that, if it was to be challenged at all, should have been challenged very promptly.

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  • Richard left only two (illegitimate) children neither of whom "had issue" so he cannot now be said to have "descendants"

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  • Scep Tick and Mike Simpson you are both talking rubbish.

    The time for Judicial Review did not begin until the remains were formally identified. Richard III did state he wished to be buried in York. Haddon-Cave J's ruling is entirely correct.

    This situation is entirely the fault of the GLS lawyer at the MoJ who drafted the licence without asking what would normally happen at the burial of a king. The answer to that is the ceremony would be overseen by the Earl Marshal and the Royal Household. That is what should have been ordered. The MoJ is greatly at fault here and the Lord Chancellor should apologise for causing this whole mess.

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  • Even if I'd been dead 500 years I wouldn't want to be in Leicester....

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