What do you think when you visited the Crematorium? PLEASE help others in your situations by taking our Survey Dismiss

MoJ exhumation ashes

The Ministry of Justice response to our question on exhumation of ashes

This was our enquiry:

Hello

Since the recent interest in exhumation articles in various national papers, I am trying to clarify a couple of things

The MoJ gets around 25 applications per week for exhumation what is the percentage spilt (roughly) between whole body / standard burial and burial of cremated remains?

As I understand it, the Justice Secretary or the Church of England if from consecrated ground give the authority. So is it the churches decision on consecrated even if they don’t own it eg a council cemetery? And the Justice Secretary on non consecrated (do they apply the same test as the church).

Many thanks

Richard

———————————————————

This was their response:

———————————————————

Dear Mr Martin,

Thank you for your emails of 4 August and 4 September, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ): “The MoJ gets around 25 applications per week for exhumation what is the percentage spilt (roughly) between whole body / standard burial and burial of cremated remains?

As I understand it, the Justice Secretary or the Church of England if from consecrated ground give the authority. So is it the churches decision on consecrated even if they don’t own it eg a council cemetery? And the Justice Secretary on non consecrated (do they apply the same test as the church).” The first part of your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm that the department holds the information that you have asked for and I am pleased to provide this to you.  The Secretary of State for Justice grants licences for exhumation of buried human remains under section 25 of the Burial Act 1857 (as amended).  In 2013, 14% of all such licences were for non-cremated remains.  Again in 2014, 14% of all such licences were for non-cremated remains. You can find more information about the FOIA by reading the full text (available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents).

Responses are anonymised and published on our on-line disclosure log which can be found on the MoJ website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/series/freedom-ofinformation-disclosure-log

I am answering the second part of your request outside of the FOIA, on a discretionary basis. Section 25 of the Burial Act 1857 (as amended) requires exhumation to be authorised by either the Secretary of State or the Church of England, depending on the location of the remains. Exhumation from land which is subject to the Church of England’s jurisdiction needs the Church’s authorisation (the granting of a faculty or the approval of a proposal under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011). This includes exhumation from any section of a local authority cemetery which has been consecrated by the Church of England. Exhumation from land which is not subject to the Church of England’s jurisdiction needs a licence from the Secretary of State. Each application for a licence is considered on its own merits. We are unable to answer on the Church of England’s requirements for granting a faculty. I hope this information is helpful. Yours sincerely,

—————————————————–

So the MoJ score way better than the MoD, on the down side it took asking the question three times and I needed to resort to a FOI. However the answer that came back was pretty good and offered more information than was legally necessary. So they get a Scattering score of 6.5

MoJ exhumation ashes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top