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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 – 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

Law Commission Review: 13th Programme of Law Reform

On 14 December, the Law Commission announced that leasehold, trust law, smart contracts and chancel repair liability are among the 14 projects that the Law Commission will look at over the next three years. A number of these projects are associated with “law and religion” and related issues, including: Continue reading

Re-launched CofE website: legal opinions & ors

More links to issues of legal interest

Following the re-launch of the Church of England web site on 15th November, we have posted some “quick links” to pages we considered might be of possible interest to L&RUK readers; further links were obtained from by the Church’s twitter page in which answers were provided to specific queries concerning the revised web site, see below. The former focussed on policy and law, whereas the primarily concern issues which are of relevance to the clergy and members of General Synod.

The Legal Services section of the website now includes Legal Opinions from the General Synod’s Legal Advisory Commission, as well as other formal guidance relating to legislation; those relating to clergy discipline were summarized in our earlier post. Continue reading

HM Chief Inspector on illegal religious schools

Ofsted has published its Annual Report – the first for Amanda Spielman as HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Of particular interest to this blog are the Report’s comments about conservative religious schools where the legal requirements for shared values and tolerance clash with community expectations, and the creation of illegal ‘schools’ that avoid teaching the unifying messages taught in the vast majority of schools in England. The relevant section of the Report is worth reproducing in full:

Continue reading

AMiE ordinations – update

A summary of the initial reactions to last week’s ordinations

An earlier post summarized the background to the first ordination service of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) on Thursday 7th December 2017 at the East London Tabernacle Church. These were led by Missionary Bishop Andy Lines and was live-streamed on the AMiE website;  “footage from the event itself” is available here. Continue reading

May a faith-based nursery school sack a teacher for cohabitation? De Groen

And here’s one we should have noted earlier…

Background

In Ms Z De Groen v Gan Menachem Hendon Ltd [2017] UKET 3347281/2016, the claimant was employed by the respondent, a private Orthodox Jewish nursery school that followed the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe [22]. Part of the ethos of the nursery is to instil in its children the principles and practices of ultra-Orthodox Judaism:

“Both handbooks for teachers and parents and a job description mention the religious nature of the nursery in various places. However, none sets out that all staff must adhere to the beliefs and practices of the ultra-Orthodox community with which the nursery is most closely associated. Indeed, the respondent was at pains to point out that it was open to employing a non-Jew as a teacher provided that they had a sufficient knowledge of the principles of Judaism and adhered to key aspects of its fundamental principles (such as its dress code)” [24]. Continue reading