DNA test results may be used in Britain by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to settle a family inheritance dispute.
As reported in The Daily Telegraph (11th October 2015) after the death in 2013 of the 10th Baronet Pringle of Stichill, Sir Steuart Pringle who was the Commandant General of the Royal Marines during the Falklands War and survived an IRA car bomb, it was expected that his eldest son Simon, would become the 11th baronet. But the inheritance of the title, by the fifty-six year old insurer from Sussex, has been challenged by Murray Pringle, 74, an accountant from High Wycombe who has claimed that he is the true heir.
Murray Pringle’s case is based on DNA samples that he had provided for a Clan Pringle project and which had revealed that the 10th baronet was not genetically related to his cousins and to the wider Pringle family while Murray would seem to be descended from a legitimate branch of the family.
Experts have suggested that the title should really have gone to the 9th baronet’s legitimate younger brother, Ronald, and then onto Murray.
Now The Queen has referred the case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council who will rule on whether DNA evidence can be used in disputes such as these. It is believed by some that if the Privy Council approves its use as evidence then a whole can of worms may be opened up in other inheritance disputes.