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Judges postpone decision over Richard III's burial

The battle over where the remains of King Richard III should be laid to rest has ended, with judges postponing their final decision until they have considered the evidence further.

Relatives of the former monarch who make up the Plantagenet Alliance have argued that there should have been a national public consultation over where he would be reinterred.

A mock up of Richard III based on research from the Society of Antiquaries Credit: PA

Their counsel, Gerard Clarke, told the court that the issue was important as Richard III was the last English king to die in battle - and so should not be treated as just "any old bones".

But counsel for the government, James Eadie, said there was "no statutory or common law duty to consult".

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said the court would take time to consider its judgment and told the parties: "We shall let you know our decision as soon as possible."

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Leicester's actions over king's remains 'inexplicable'

The Plantagenet Alliance Ltd, formed by the distant relatives of King Richard III, are fighting for the late monarch's remains to be buried at York Minster, claiming it was the king's wish.

Read: High Court battle over King Richard III's final resting place begins today

They are bringing judicial review proceedings against Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, the University of Leicester - which intends to bury the remains at Leicester Cathedral - and Leicester City Council.

Their solicitor, Matthew Howarth, from law firm Gordons, said:

Quite why our opponents have declined the obviously sensible option of independent adjudication, preferring to incur substantial legal costs - including for the taxpayer - and tie up considerable court time, is inexplicable.

Although many people are astonished we've got this far, we'll go to the hearing with every confidence in our position, intending to state our case clearly and believing there's every chance the licence will be quashed.

If that happens, the odds about the king eventually being laid to rest in York will shorten dramatically.

At the heart of the case is a Ministry of Justice decision to grant a "section 25 licence" under the Burial Act giving archaeologists from the university licence to excavate, and the university permission to decide where to re-bury the bones, which were exhumed in the city 19 months ago.

  1. National

Court battle over King Richard III's final resting place

A High Court battle over the final resting place for the remains of King Richard III begins today.

A mock up of Richard III based on research from the Society of Antiquaries Credit: PA

After the king's remains were discovered buried under a council car park in Leicester in 2012 they were expected to be re-interred at the city's cathedral.

However, distant relatives of the monarch formed an alliance and brought the action in what has been described as "the (legal) Wars of the Roses part 2".

Leicester University celebrates blooming crocuses

ITV Central Weather Credit: ITV News Central

The University of Leicester has opened its botanic garden today, for the second weekend in a row, as it hopes to raise money for the Leicestershire Alzheimer's Society.

The Sandstone Garden, in front of Beaumont Hall, is celebrating the spring bloom of crocuses.

The University's biology department has been researching the flower and have set up an exhibition at the venue.

Director, Richard Gornall said:

"This wonderful display that far too few people get to use. It is a bright spot in an otherwise quiet time in the gardening calendar."

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National student space society comes to Leicester

Leicester is home to the National Space Centre Credit: Daniel Law/Press Association Images

Around 300 delegates are expected to attend the University of Leicester this weekend.

UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space - the UK's national student space society - selected Leicester because of the city's connections with the space industry.

It is hoped delegates will be able to network with local companies.

Protest over Richard III genetic mapping - full story

A historian who traced the living relatives of King Richard III is accusing the University of Leicester of destroying parts of the skeleton.

John Ashdown-Hill, who also helped pinpoint where the former monarch was buried, says testing the remains to find out more about the king's genetic make up is "destructive" and unnecessary.

Rajiv Popat has the full story.

Petition against more 'destructive' Richard III research

The man who helped find the final resting place of King Richard III in Leicester has launched a petition against plans for more scientific tests on the former monarch's remains.

The University of Leicester announced earlier this month that it wanted to map the King's entire genetic code.

More scientific tests are planned for Richard III's remains Credit: ITV News Central

John Ashdown-Hill has written a blog in which he labels the research "destructive" and "gratuitous", and urges others to sign his petition to block any more testing.

The University has denied the claims, saying it has abided by all ethical codes governing research on human remains.

King Richard III is a figure of immense historical and cultural significance and the information that we hope to obtain from sequencing his genome will provide insights into the health and ancestry of the king and his historical environment.

We, along with our partners, are committed to treating the mortal remains with dignity and respect as we work together for a reinterment at Leicester Cathedral as soon as the legal process allows.

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