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Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011

Disposal of bodies

Section 25: Prohibition on disposal of body without authorisation

59.This section inserts a new section 27A into the 1965 Act making it an offence to dispose of the body of a still-born child or a deceased person without authorisation. The offence is committed by a person in charge of a place where the disposal of human bodies takes place, for example, a superintendent of a crematorium or burial ground. The Scottish Ministers may by regulations prescribe the types of documentation required and make provision for the form and content of such documents, except where these are already prescribed by the Registrar General. For instance, it is likely that in many cases one of the documents required will be the registration certificate issued by the district registrar.

60.The penalty for the offence is a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. When the offence has been committed by a body corporate, its officers can also be convicted.

61.Under subsection (4) a defence is available to a person charged with such an offence, if that person can prove that there was a reasonable excuse for disposing of a body without the relevant authorisation.

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