QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF FATIMA HAQQ||(CLAIMANT)|
|(1)DR KNAPMAN HM CORONER FOR INNER WEST LONDON|
|(2)ALFIA SULTANA HAQQ||(DEFENDANTS)|
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MS M WHEELER (instructed by LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, CITY OF WESTMINSTER) appeared on behalf of the 1ST DEFENDANT
MR C UMEZURUIKE (instructed by ANDREWS SOLICITORS) appeared on behalf of the 2ND Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
Thursday, 18th December 2003MR JUSTICE GIBBS:
"If there is no will, then (if the deceased was married) the deceased's spouse is the person next entitled to determine these matters, as the person first entitled to a grant of administration of the deceased's estate, at least until it is clear that he or she is incapable of acting or does not intend to apply for such a grant. Subject to that, the other persons able to apply for a grant should be treated as the persons to determine mode and place of disposal."
"I do not think I am being asked to give directions as to the administration of an estate. I am being asked to decide between the conflicting arguments of equally entitled parents as to the way in which Mark's ashes should be disposed of and I do that on the usual basis that this court is well used to exercising discretion in disputes between trustees and adjudicating on the proper course to follow when no agreement can be reached by the parties concerned.
"One takes all of the background into account. One takes into account the views held on both sides and comes to a conclusion which does fairness and justice to both sides."
That is a particularly helpful observation for the purposes of this case where I am positively being asked, in this judicial review application, by all the parties to the dispute, to determine it today.