Law & Religion UK is intended as a forum for what (we hope) is academically-rigorous exploration of the interactions between law and religion – broadly defined – together with the human rights issues associated with them. We are always interested in guest posts from colleagues in the field of law and religion.

We also welcome pertinent comments on current developments that reflect the views and opinions of their respective authors and meet the General Conditions applying to the site. However, those that do not meet those criteria or which are otherwise unidentifiable are unlikely to be published, especially comments that are abusive or defamatory. For more information see our comments policy below.

Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington

Recent queries and comments – 18th November

Including some links to the re-launched web sit of the Church of England

Below is a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during the past couple of weeks, providing links to our blog posts addressing these issues. As before, the topics covered in these occasional posts do not necessarily represent our most-read blogs, but reflects the current interests of readers accessing the site on (mostly) contemporary issues. A surprise entry was Continue reading

Conscientious objection and acquittal for alleged criminal damage

And here’s something we should have reported earlier…

On 26 October, the Revd Daniel Woodhouse, a Methodist Minister, and Sam Walton, who works with the Quakers in Britain, were found not guilty at Burnley Magistrates’ Court of criminal damage. Armed with a hammer, they had attempted to reach aircraft that were bound for Saudi Arabia when they were apprehended at BAE Warton in January 2017. Continue reading

CDM Decision and Penalty: Re Huntley (2)

Further penalty imposed on a clergyman by Bishop’s Tribunal

On 1 November 2017, the Church of England Document Library posted Huntley 2the Decision and Penalty of the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Durham between Mr Andrew Thurston (Complainant) and The Reverend David George Huntley (Respondent). This followed the Tribunal’s earlier Decision, May 2016, and Decision (Appeal) and Order in August 2016, which concerned the same clergyman but on a significantly different matter.  Continue reading

The Agency of Agencies: Bureaucracy and the Politics of Religious Freedom

In a further cross-post triggered by Helge Årsheim’s essay on bureaucracy and religion, Richard Amesbury, Chair and Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Clemson University, suggests that administrative decisions are not always as “apolitical” as the administrators would seek to claim.

In his post “Deus in Machina,” Helge Årsheim calls attention to the role civil servants play in shaping religious freedom, grinding out decisions on “the proper legal boundaries of religious beliefs, practices, organizations, buildings, garments and dietary products every day.” Where much recent scholarship on law and religion has pointed to the “juridification” of religion, Årsheim emphasizes its bureaucratization. God is in the machine, and the devil in the details.

One reason this is significant is that bureaucratic, administrative governance takes place largely out of sight, in a zone in which sovereignty is experienced as “soft” and diffuse, a matter less of decision than of discretion. Continue reading

C of E guidance on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools

The Church of England has published an updated version of Valuing All God’s Children: Guidance for Church of England schools on challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The accompanying press release explains that the updated guidance

“aims to prevent pupils from having their self-worth diminished or their ability to achieve impeded by being bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.  Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 12th November

 This week we were reminded that a “fulsome” apology meant a “sickeningly obsequious” one: aside from which there were a number of disparate issues that added up to a lengthy round-up…

Uber loses its appeal

Taxi firm Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed. Last year, an Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were employed by Uber and therefore entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the National Living Wage. Uber appealed, arguing that its drivers were self-employed and were under no obligation to use its booking app. In the Employment Appeal Tribunal, HHJ Eady was satisfied that the ET had not erred either in its approach or in its conclusions when it rejected Uber’s argument that it was simply connecting independent drivers with customers, Unsurprisingly, Uber has announced that it will appeal against the latest ruling.

Which has more to do with “religion” than you might think.  Continue reading