Judicial Review Judgement

At 10 am this morning (23 May 2014) in Court 3, Royal Courts of Justice,
London, Lady Justice Hallett handed down the Judgement of the Judicial
Review held on 13th and 14th March this year before herself, Mr Justice
Ouseley and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave.
The application by the Plantagenet Alliance challenged
(1)    the Secretary of State for Justice that the Exhumation Licence
granted on 3 September 2012 was issued ‘without consulting, or attaching
requiring the licencee to consult, as to how [or where] the remains of
Richard III should be appropriately re-interred in the event that they
were found.
(2)    The Decision of the Secretary of State for Justice on 4 February
2013 and subsequently ‘not to re-visit the grant of the Licence once it
became clear the University would not carry out an appropriate
(3)    The Decision of the University of Leicester on 4 February 2013
‘to begin making arrangements for the re-interment of the remains of
Richard III at Leicester Cathedral’.
The judgement reads ‘there are no public law grounds for the Court
interfering with the decisions in question. In the result, therefore,
the Claimant’s application for Judicial Review is dismissed’.
A postscript was added:
‘Since Richard III’s exhumation on 5 September 2012, passions have been
roused and much ink has been split. Issues relating to his life and
death and place of re-interment have been exhaustively examined and
debated. The Very Reverend David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester
Cathedral, has explained the considerable efforts and expenditure
invested  by the Cathedral in order to create a lasting burial place “as
befits an anointed King”. We agree that it is time for Richard III to be
given as dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest.’

This judgement upholding the original licence granted to the University
of Leicester by the Ministry of Justice now means that it is the hands
of the university to follow through the requirements of that licence and
they confirm that the reburial of King Richard III will go ahead as
planned in Leicester Cathedral. The Society will work constructively
with the cathedral to help bring this about. Consideration, however,
should also now be given to the need for his remains to be removed to an
appropriate place of sanctity before their re-burial.

The full judgement is available online at:

The Richard III Society’s Chairman, Phil Stone, commented ‘ I am very
pleased that there has been a clear cut decision. It means that we can
now move forward and reinter King Richard with the dignity and sanctity
that is due to an anointed king of England. Understandably, the
judgement will be a disappointment to the Plantagenet Alliance and its
supporters, and indeed to many of our own members, but I hope that we
can now all put the disagreements behind us and join together to honour
King Richard when he is laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral.