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Missing Claudia: Father welcomes new law
THE father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence has welcomed new legislation making it easier for people to settle the affairs of a relative missing, presumed dead.
The new rules are set to become law after winning approval in the House of Lords when peers gave an unopposed third reading to the Presumption of Death Bill, which has already cleared the Commons.
Solicitor Peter Lawrence, from Slingsby, North Yorkshire, was among the leading campaigners for the new law.
His daughter Claudia, a chef at York University, has now been missing for four years and police are treating her disappearance as suspected murder.
“I welcome the speed with which this has gone through Parliament and it will now make the law consistent across all parts of the United Kingdom helping families wind up their missing relative's estate,” he said.
“I shall continue with promoting the need for legislation for guardianship arrangements to exist for those missing to ensure their affairs are looked after until they return: it will help the thousands of families each year who find themselves in this predicament.”
Claudia and her family came from Darlington and later moved to Malton, North Yorkshire, where she was brought up.
The legislation will enable someone to apply for a High Court declaration stating the relative is deemed dead after being missing for seven years. It is likely to lead to the issuing of about 30 to 40 presumption of death certificates a year.