Richard III JR hits court before three-judge panel

The judicial review into the final resting place of Richard III is being heard before three High Court judges today, along with an application to join Leicester City Council as a third defendant in the case.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Ouseley, and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave – who granted permission for judicial review earlier this year (16 August 2013) will this morning hear substantive arguments for and against the Plantagenet Alliance’s application for judicial review of the site where the king’s remains will finally be interred.

The hearing will be preceded by an application by the Plantagenet Alliance to join Leicester City Council to the case as a third defendant, alongside the Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling and the University of Leicester.

Gordons partner Matthew Howarth, who is leading the claim for the alliance, said the application was made because the council had recently indicated that it had considered a consultation over the site to bury the last Plantagenet king, but had not done so. The judicial review claim centres around the lack of consultation over the final resting place for Richard III, whose remains were discovered under a Leicester carpark last year (26 March 2013).

The current plans will see the king’s skeleton interred in Leicester Cathedral, but the Plantagenet Alliance – a group styling themselves as the king’s descendants – want him to be buried in York Minster.

The Ministry of Justice has drafted in Blackstone Chambers’ James Eadie QC to lead the substantive hearing, with 3 Raymond Buildings’ Ben Watson as junior.

Gordons is continuing to instruct Blackstone Chambers’ Gerard Clarke and Tom Cleaver for the claimants, while Leicester Council’s in-house team has instructed 3 Stone Buildings’ Norman Palmer QC.

In October Haddon-Cave J confirmed a protective costs order (PCO) of £70,000 in the case, dismissing an application by Grayling to have the PCO discharged.

Both cathedrals are interested parties in the case, but will not be appearing in court.

The hearing is set down for one day in court 4 of the Royal Courts of Justice.

The legal line-up:

For the claimants, the Plantagenet Alliance

Gordons partner Matthew Howath, instructing Blackstone Chambers’ Gerard Clarke and Tom Cleaver

For the first defendant, the Secretary of State for Justice

Treasury Solicitors, instructing Blackstone Chambers’ James Eadie QC and 3 Raymond Buildings’ Ben Watson

For the second defendant, the University of Leicester

In-house counsel Penny McConnell, instructing 11KBW’s Anya Proops and Heather Emmerson

For Leicester City Council

In-house counsel, instructing 3 Stone Buildings’ Norman Palmer QC

For the first interested party, the Cathedral of Saint Martin Leicester

Latham & Co senior partner Trevor Kirkman