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Buried in the wrong name

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Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstrong was instructed by Sidali Feddag of Nicholls & Nicholls in an unusual case originally aimed at stopping a burial. As that urgent application reached court, however, the applicant’s mother learned that the deceased had been suddenly buried, apparently in response to the pre-action notice. The case therefore became about whether the court should exercise its inherent jurisdiction concerning the administration of estates to make declarations about the decency of the burial, such that might inform an application for an exhumation licence, and/or appoint the mother rather than the spouse as administrator of the estate.

The court declined to do those things, but did agree to issue a declaration concerning the true identity of the deceased. He had been an Algerian migrant who had created a false identity to permit an immigration application as an unaccompanied minor. He was then obliged to stay in that identity, but that made travel to and from Algeria (for him and his family) all but impossible. That separation in part fuelled the dispute which then arose, and which came to a head when he was suddenly killed in a motorcycle accident when he was working as an Uber Eats courier in London on 10 September 2020. Lamine Ouabri was 36 years old. He leaves behind his parents, three siblings, and his widow.