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Law & Religion UK is intended as a forum for what we hope is academically-rigorous exploration of the interactions between law and religion, together with the associated human rights issues. We welcome pertinent guest posts and comments on current developments that reflect the views and opinions of their respective authors and meet the General Conditions applying to the site. Those that do not meet these criteria or which are otherwise unidentifiable are unlikely to be published, especially comments that are abusive or defamatory.

Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington

 

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Brexit Basics 9: update 1st October

Another of our occasional updates of news and comment on Brexit.

The UK Dimension

“So what will Brexit really mean?” asks The Economist – and suggests that the answers so far are pretty vague. On 5 September, David Davis, Secretary of State for Brexit, told the Commons that it meant leaving the EU and taking back control of borders, laws and taxpayers’ money:

“Yet when asked specific questions—Would Britain quit the EU’s single market? What migration controls would it seek? Would it stay in Europol? When would negotiations start?—he gave only vague answers.”

Moreover, when she was in China for the G20 summit the Prime Minister “disavowed several pledges made by Brexiteers before the referendum”: an Aussie-style points system for EU migrants and Leavers’ promises to transfer saved EU budget payments to the NHS or scrap VAT on fuel bills.

In short, we don’t appear to be very much wiser now than we were at the start of the process. In short, we don’t appear to be very much wiser now than we were at the start of the process. Politically, however, some useful pointers may be given at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, 2-5 October, but we suspect that much of the strategic internal party manoeuvring will have taken place before 14:30 on Sunday and the Opening Session “Global Britain: Making a success of Brexit; speakers: The Prime Minister; Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union; Secretary of State for International Development; Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

UK Parliament and the courts

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Consistory court judgments – September

Relatively few consistory court judgments were published in September. These include: the substantial reordering of a Grade I church; the installation of mobile telephone antennae and dishes in the church tower; and the exhumation of a Chinese national and reinternment in a family grave. In addition, an amended version of Re St Michael and St Lawrence Fewston [2016] ECC Lee 7 was circulated. This included subsequent correspondence on the artefacts from the exhumations associated with the excavation for the Washburn Heritage Centre, and the Chancellor’s decision on which of these could be placed on public display. This round-up also summarizes the current position regarding the Bishops’ Visitations undertaken at Peterborough and Exeter Cathedrals, and lists the applications considered by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England on 22 September.   Continue reading

Northern Ireland to retain ecclesiastical exemption from listed building consent

In May, we posted on the state of ecclesiastical exemption from listed building controls in the four jurisdictions and noted that there is no list of exempt denominations in Northern Ireland where, instead, the ecclesiastical exemption as it currently stands applies to all listed places of worship.

On 18 March, Environment Minister Mark Durkan launched a consultation on a proposal to remove the ecclesiastical exemption: his proposal was that the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (DOENI) should issue an order under s 85(9) Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 to remove the exemption. Continue reading

Admission to Holy Communion – Church in Wales, II

Further information on admission of children to Holy Communion in the Church in Wales

Earlier this month, we reported that the Bishops of the Church in Wales had issued a Pastoral Letter concerning Admission to Holy Communion: as from the First Sunday in Advent this year, 27 November, the Bishops are giving permission to communicate “to all who are baptised in water and in the name of the Holy Trinity” [within their dioceses and jurisdictions]. The Pastoral Letter, initially posted on the St Davids diocesan site, has now been published on the CinW’s provincial website in addition to other explanatory material: Continue reading

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse suspends its senior counsel: updated

Events leading to the resignation of Ben Emmerson QC  as senior counsel to the IICSA

On 28 September The GuardianThe Times and The Telegraph all carried identical reports of a press statement by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that its senior counsel, Ben Emmerson QC of Matrix Chambers. Continue reading

Lobbying the Lords on HS2

The Lords Spiritual and Second Church Estates Commissioner, supported by the Parliamentary Unit, provide the formal interface between the Church of England and the Westminster Parliament. In addition, the legislative process is also informed by others within the Church through their responses to consultations and contributions to Select Committees. A recent example of the latter was an evidence session of the High Speed Rail Committee Continue reading