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To be honest I don’t actually know whether the following litigants tried mediation or not, but they certainly should have. It really is sad when siblings end up in Court, particularly arguing over something like this.

Susanna Levrant wants a traditional Church of England funeral for her late mother, with “familiar and much-loved hymns, and a rendition of If You Were the Only Girl in the World,which her father used to sing to the deceased,” the high court in London heard.

But her brother, David Freud, insists their mother should have a “very austere” funeral, following Jewish mourning rites and without music. He also says she must be interred in a consecrated graveyard where “her burial will not be disturbed for hundreds of years”.

Mr Justice Arnold said “This case has come to court quickly and for good reason. It must be deeply distressing for all those concerned. I do not have the judgment of Solomon. However, if this brother and sister cannot agree on this issue, somebody will have to decide, and that will be me.”

The judge said he did not relish the task and urged the parties to settle their differences, warning that his decision might not bring them comfort. “The nearest equivalent of the biblical solution is for the court to adopt a third way forward, which is equally unwelcome to both parties.”

I do think that in these kinds of cases there should be a mandatory mediation meeting like they have in the family courts.

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