The Board of Deputies welcomes the decision of the Ministry of Justice to review out of hours coroners’ services.
This decision is the result of work put in over many years which the Board has led for the Jewish community. Many of the reforms were suggested on our behalf by Eleanor Platt QC and David Frei, and were presented recently to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Funerals and Bereavement by Professor David Katz. The announcement follows the recent meeting with Justice Secretary Michael Gove, attended by Board Governmental Affairs Officer Marcelle Palmer, together with other Jewish and Muslim leaders.
The Board believes the announcement is long overdue. Jewish and Muslim families, whose traditions require burial as soon as possible after death, are left in limbo when a family member dies out of working hours or over the weekend. This results in added distress at what is already a trying time.
Marie van der Zyl, Vice President of the Board of Deputies, said, “The Board has been campaigning for this for years, working with partners in other faith communities. We hope that this ushers in a new era of compassion and common sense in the coroner services. I would like to pay particular tribute to the new Justice Secretary Michael Gove and new Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage for the speedy impact they have made on this emotive issue which affects people at times of grief. Going forward we will be working with them to put care of the bereaved at the centre of coroner services.”
To read the full announcement from the Ministry of Justice, click here.