Chapter 12
Reform of places of burial

Closure of cemeteries

12.116Currently, Part 6 of the Act contains many detailed provisions about the closure of cemeteries and burial grounds, the different obligations on managers after closure and the power to reopen closed cemeteries and burial grounds. We consider that these provisions are overly complicated and unnecessary under a new statute. As we have stated earlier, the status of the cemetery land and the obligations of the cemetery managers should be tied to the fact that bodies are buried in the land rather than to the legal category that the land happens to fall into, including whether the cemetery is open or closed. For example:

12.117The same position would exist for any cemeteries or burial grounds that have been closed under the Act or earlier Acts, that is, if bodies are buried in the land, that land is deemed to be a cemetery, and the owner of the land is under the statutory obligations of cemetery manager unless those obligations are transferred. Given the minimalist nature of the obligations proposed, we do not consider this will provide any undue problem for the owners of currently closed cemeteries.