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.
The blog is now receiving 800-1000 page-views per day; comments need reading and, sometimes, editing. That was not a problem when daily page-views were averaging about 400, but the process can now be fairly time-consuming. As such, we have reviewed our policy on comments. Continue reading →
How will new guidance impact on development of cemeteries?
On 14 March, the Environment Agency (EA) issued a new tranche of guidance on groundwater protection. That relating to cemeteries is of particular importance in view of the current shortage of burial space and the need for future development, either by the extension of existing cemeteries or the creation of new ones, including grave plot reuse and ‘lift and deepen’ methods. This post outlines the underlying provisions, discusses their application, and examines some of the apparent inconsistencies. Continue reading →
This guest post by Robert Meakin is an abridged version of a forthcoming article in the next edition of Law & Justice and is published here with the kind permission of the Editor, John Duddington.
There have been concerns recently about whether religions might have religious doctrines and practices challenged if they are registered as charities. This article looks at possible grounds to challenge the Charity Commission, including the common law principles of non-justiciability, charity law (the definition of religion and public benefit) and human rights.
Grounds for challenging the Charity Commission’s approach to religious charities
In a guest post, David Scrooby, an attorney of the Republic of South Africa, discusses a highly unusual recent case – the first of its kind in over 150 years…
The case of Bishop Mlibo Ngewu v The Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Ten Others  ZAKZPHC 88is about the first canonical trial of a Bishop in Southern Africa since that of Bishop Colenso in 1864. The judgment of Her Ladyship Sharmaine Balton J, handed down in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on 6 October 2016, may not have the impact of that of the Privy Council in 1865 (to which Colenso appealed) or the canonical depth of that of the South African Labour Court in Cape Town in Church of the Province of Southern Africa, Diocese of Cape Town v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others  ZALC 141. However, the judgment is important in a number of respects. Continue reading →
A week dominated by Brexit, ‘First Minister vs Prime Minister’ and the fall-out from the first judgments of the CJEU on religious manifestation…
As expected, on Monday the Commons rejected the Lords amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, the Lords did not insist on their amendments and the bill passed. So after a total of 70 hours of debate, the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent on Thursday. The BBC reports that the Prime Minister is expected to wait until the end of the month formally to notify the EU of the UK’s intention to leave.
On 13th March 2017, the Second Church Estates Commissioner Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered written question 67095from Stewart Jackson MP on Peterborough Cathedral.
Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on addressing the financial difficulties at Peterborough Cathedral; and if she will make a statement.
Dame Caroline Spelman: In addition to the answer given on 13 October 2016 to written question 47672, on 6th January 2017 the Bishop of Peterborough issued a visitation charge to the Cathedral Chapter and published his directions to improve governance at the Cathedral. Continue reading →
The boundary between ecclesiastical and statutory legislation
The challenges faced by cemeteries and churchyards in meeting the current shortage of burial space have been considered in earlier posts, primarily in relation to the re-use of graves and more recently in the case of the development of a private cemetery. The recently-reported example of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries broadens these considerations to the wholesale development of areas of consecrated ground within a municipal cemetery, and the interface between the faculty jurisdiction and secular provisions. Continue reading →