Chapter 12
Reform of places of burial

12.1In Chapter 11 we described how it can be very difficult for the managers of cemeteries and burial grounds to ascertain their rights and obligations. We consider that there is significant scope for the legislative scheme to be simplified in a new statute. Most of the current distinctions between types of burial land are unnecessary. In our view, obligations should be based on the fact that land has been used for burial, rather than its legal classification as a certain category of burial land.

12.2Also, many of the current detailed powers and duties of managers are no longer required, given a more modern understanding that people who own land (whether that is a local authority or a private entity) automatically have broad powers to manage and deal with that land except as is specifically circumscribed by the law. Rather than listing specific powers of managers, in our view, the statute should only limit the rights of land owners when there is a clear public benefit in doing so.

12.3Consequently, in this chapter, we describe a new legislative framework for the management of all land that has been used for burial, including:

12.4This framework reflects the (sometimes competing) values that are important in this area, drawing on the views given to us in consultation. Those values are outlined here: