This is an email to let you know that a decision has now been reached in this matter.
Careful thought has been given to the arguments put forward by all parties. While Druid representatives have set out clearly the reasons why they believe the remains should be re-buried without delay, the significance of the remains from what is a World Heritage Site was also taken into account.
Permission for the original excavation was only granted after very careful consideration, and the interests of stakeholders including Druids and Pagans were considered. While it is unfortunate that the time needed to undertake the research work was underestimated, it is not considered right to curtail the work that has been carried out so far.
The decision has therefore been made to grant an extension to the re-burial condition for five years, in accordance with the application made on behalf of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.
Instructions for the licence to be amended have therefore been given. However, it is proposed that once the work has been completed the religious views of the Pagans and Druids will be respected and the remains reinterred.”
It is bad news that our ancestors remains will be withheld until 2015, but a definite step forwards that the MoJ propose that we will have these remains reinterred.
You can read the 37 page argument that we presented to the MoJ that led to this response below.
What could be done to challenge the length of the extension granted?
To have the ancient human remains returned to Stonehenge earlier than 2015 recommended by the Ministry of Justice we would need a Judicial review.
Update 23rd August 2011.
Mr Pendragon, or ‘Arthur Rex’ as he allegedly signed his name in court, bungled the filling in of the Judicial review application form by not giving adequate reason for such a review being necessary. All was not lost at this point, there was still an opportunity to speak before the judge in person to make a case about why a judicial review is justified.
To be fair to Mr Pendragon the odds were stacked against him from the outset, and he gave it a go when many others couldn’t be bothered or didn’t have the bottle. All credit to him for that much. However there are perhaps lessons to be learned from this failed appeal and the way in which the pro reburial position was represented.
We mustn’t continue to lose important tests of morality and faith in the courts. These losses eat away at the justice in our land, and to do less than our best is to fail those who would see justice done.
We will continue to work towards the reburial of these ancestors at Stonehenge on or before 2015. This is a commitment that we have already achieved from the MoJ through our own efforts and we will be watchfull for any move to break from this pledge.
We will be working independently from Mr Pendragon in this regard.