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Resting place: Ibuna v Arroyo

Joseph Goldsmith reports on Ibuna v Arroyo, which centred on an unusual battle over the remains of the deceased

6 July 2012

It is unfortunate but not uncommon for disputes to arise between family members in relation to the property of a deceased relative. What is far less common is a dispute in relation to the mortal remains of the deceased himself.

Such a dispute arose in Ibuna v Arroyo [2012] EWHC 428 (Ch), in which Peter Smith J granted letters of administration to the partner and daughter of a Filipino congressman who had died in the United Kingdom, thus enabling them to take possession of his body to transport it to the Philippines and dispose of it in accordance with his wishes, despite the contrary wishes of the congressman’s estranged wife.

In the course of his judgment, Peter Smith J cast doubt upon an earlier decision in which it had been suggested that there should be a post-mortem application of human rights in relation ?to the body itself when deciding a dispute as to who should be responsible for i...

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