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The legal remedy: how a judicial review works

    V The legal representatives of the Adath Yisroel Burial Society (AYBS) are taking a two-pronged approach with regards to Mary Hassell.

    Firstly, they have made a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office about Ms Hassell herself. If she is to be dismissed, it will come only if the JCIO decides to consider the complaint and upholds it.

    Then it will be passed to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice while will make the ultimate decision.

    But the primary effort at this point will centre on the request for a judicial review, which has been submitted this week by the AYBS lawyers.

    A judicial review puts specific actions of a public official (in this case, Ms Hassell’s policy that no death will be prioritised over any other because of the religion of the deceased) in front of a High Court judge and asks for a ruling on whether the actions are lawful or not.

    The legal team making the request will usually hear back within a month whether the judicial review has been granted, with the review itself — usually a one-day hearing — likely to take place a few months later.

    If the judge rules that Ms Hassell’s policy is unlawful, she will have to withdraw it and institute a new policy.

    In 2015, a judicial review into Ms Hassell’s actions was brought after she ordered an invasive autopsy to be carried out on a Jewish body, something opposed by the family of the deceased.

    Ms Hassell’s reasoning was judged to have been “flawed” and she was ordered the coroner to pay 90 per cent of the claimant’s costs.