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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  • What an utter waste of the court's time.

    If we ever needed an example of why judicial review needs a serious re-think then it is this sort of frivolous nonsense.

    At a time of austerity it is absurd to be wasting public money arguing over where someone who died half a millenium ago should be buried.

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  • I don't live in either Leicestershire or Yorkshire. As a tourist, it would be easier for me for them to be in York (as Leicester is a place I prefer to avoid visiting).

    However prior to these bones being discovered, York didn't celebrate its connection with the hunchback King Richard. Indeed, I think it deliberately played down its links.

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  • The decision is correct. We are dealing with the remains of a King of England. The MoJ clearly did not think through the issues involved and I think it right and proper for a national debate to take place. One of the things I would like to know is why Westminster Abbey or St George's Chapel, Windsor haven't been considered. In addition, Richard III was shamefully treated by Henry VII (who paid £10 for a memorial - penny pinching old so-and-so) and Henry VIII (money grabbing old so-and-so) so what price a more appropriate reburial!

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  • Tell me is all the other law so boring that all these words have been written about what exactly? The dead do not have feelings neither did his descendants otherwise they would have sought him out before now wouldn't they. Personally then I favour somewhere half way up the M1. What's the matter with you all - obvious really.

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  • I blame Margaret Beaufort. Didn't teach her son any respect.

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  • The last sentence of Mr Justice Haddon-Cave's Order reads:
    "Skeletons to be exchanged 1 week before the substantive hearing"
    thus inadvertently resolving the entire case provided that Plantagenet Alliance can find one by then.

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  • Anon @ 11:36: "However prior to these bones being discovered, York didn't celebrate its connection with the hunchback King Richard. Indeed, I think it deliberately played down its links."

    York is home to the Richard III museum...

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  • Gladiatrix:"

    "Richard III did state he wished to be buried in York."

    That is simply a false statement. There is no document or proof whatsoever.

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  • What a waste of time and money.

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  • Leicester is an entirely sensible place for him to be buried as that's where he was originally buried and the closest city to where his death took place. No-one complained that he was buried there until his remains were discovered.

    Rather than try to change history to what we would like it have been we should just keep it simple and bury him nearby - ie at Leicester Cathedral. Surely there are more important things to spend our time and money on?

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  • We should be focussing on the 'how' of King Richard III's burial, not the 'place' of his burial...as a catholic monarch of England & Wales, King Richard deserves a proper catholic burial subsequent to Holy Mass in the extraordinary form or according to the Sarum rite, to be celebrated by a catholic priest...if King Richard III had been a Shia muslim, we would all expect him to be buried according to Shia burial rites...let us show respect for King Richard's convictions.

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  • Bury him either with his wife Anne Neville, or where he spent probably some of his happier days; MIIDDLEHAM CASTLE, Yorkshire.

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  • "The Plantagenet Alliance are arguing that there should have been a consultation on the appropriate location for the remains of the king to be buried."

    Hmmm ... I don't think Henry VII would have been in too much of a mood to listen back in 1485.

    A new take on the adage that 'justice delayed is justice denied'?

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  • The burial location of a king should not be based on "finder's keepers". Other than being close to Richard III's place of death and being the insignificant location where his bones were unceremoniously dumped in a humble grave and then forgotten about for over 500 years, Leicester has no greater claim to his bones than somewhere like York. A proper consultation on where the bones should be buried will thankfully ensue and the decision should never have spawned from an anal council permit. The people behind the Leicester bid are only narked at the JR because it stands to potentially cost the city a cash windfall through tourism. Plus, as has been alluded to above, Leicester is a dump.

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  • Why has nobody suggested Fotheringhay Church. He was born at Fotheringhay castle which no longer remains but his Father and brother Edmund are buried in the church..It is a large beautiful church which he would have prayed in during his life. That would stop the bickering between York and Leicester!!!!!

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  • I don't really know why the University of Leicester is involved at
    all in this Richard III business. From what I saw in the Channel 4 programme, they were merely the contractors and some dogged lady, whose name I have forgotten, was the client. I can't see why the fact that a body associated with the
    University was successful in carrying out their side of the contract,
    and finding Riii's remains, means they have any status at all in what
    happens to him. If I hire someone to clear out a pond, for example, I don't expect them to have ownership over anything that is found. Can anyone tell me why contractors have a say overwhat happens to the results of what they have been contracted to do?

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