The Cremation Society of Great Britain

Brief History of Statutory Law relating to Cremation in the U.K.

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The first Act of Parliament concerning cremation was the Cardiff Corporation Act, 1894: section 71 of this Act empowered the Corporation to establish a crematorium in its cemetery. Between then and 1902, four other similar local Acts were passed. In 1902, Parliament passed the Cremation Act, 1902, the first general Cremation Act. It repealed all the previously passed local Acts. Since then Parliament has passed one other Cremation Act, the Cremation Act, 1952. Both general Acts are still in force, though they have been amended. Since 1902, Parliament has also passed several local Cremation Acts.

In addition, Parliament has approved a set of Cremation Regulations, made under section 7 of the Cremation Act, 1902. The first set was the Cremation Regulations, 1903. These were replaced by a new set of Cremation Regulations in 1920, which in turn were replaced by another set of Regulations in 1930, which in turn were replaced by another set of Regulations in 2008, the set currently in force in England and Wales.

Although the Cremation Act applied to Scotland, no Cremation Regulations were made for Scotland until 1927. The 1927 Regulations were replaced by a new set in 1935. The 1935 Regulations, as subsequently amended, are still in force in Scotland.

The Cremation Act 1902 did not apply to Northern Ireland until 1948, when the Belfast Corporation (General Powers) Act 1948 empowered Belfast Corporation to provide and maintain a crematorium and applied the Cremation Act 1902, with modifications, to any crematorium provided under the 1948 Act. The Northern Irish Parliament approved a set of Cremation Regulations in 1961. The New Towns Act of 1965 allowed new towns commissions to establish crematoria. Since 1985 councils in Northern Ireland have been empowered to establish crematoria.

[ Statutory Law ] [ Statutory Texts ] [ Transfers of Functions ][ Summary of Amendments ][ Disclaimer ]


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