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 →
Parliament was prorogued on Thursday ahead of dissolution on 3 May …
… but first,
… there were several key pieces of legislation, of which there is a full list in Hansard, here.
Among the bills that survived the pre-Election frenzy, a truncated Finance Bill left out the trigger to start HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative, no doubt to the relief of small charities everywhere. But it will almost certainly be back on the agenda in due course, whatever the election result.
Parliament also passed the Northern Ireland (Ministerial Appointments and Regional Rates) Bill: a piece of emergency legislation which retrospectively resets the “14-day clock” in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that expired on 27 March and replaced it with a 108-day grace period ending on 29 June. The duty on the Secretary of State to set a date for a new Assembly election is therefore suspended, at least for a period, and he can continue negotiations over power-sharing.
The Telegraphreports that the Conservative Party is now unlikely to proceed with a commitment to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights by the end of the next Parliament in 2022. Continue reading →
Last year, our August post, Pews, perceptions and practicalities, offered some thoughts on the “chairs vs pews” debate. The recent judgment on the reordering of St Margaret’s in Rainham, Kent, has prompted further consideration, this time concerning the selective reporting and interpretation of consistory court judgments as well as other related issues. Continue reading →
The Guardian reports that West Midlands MEP James Carver has just resigned as UKIP’s Foreign & Commonwealth affairs spokesman in protest against Paul Nuttall’s call for a burqa ban. In a statement released earlier today, he said this: Continue reading →
The ECtHR has handed down judgment on the issue of just satisfaction for Hungary’s violation of the Convention rights of Magyarországi Evangéliumi Testvérközösség [The Hungarian Evangelical Brotherhood].
The Evangelical Brotherhood has been active since 1981. Prior to the adoption of the new Church Act that came into force in January 2012, religious communities had been registered as Churches and received state funding. Under the new law, aimed at problems relating to the exploitation of state funds by certain Churches, only a number of recognised Churches continued to receive funding: all other religious communities – the Evangelical Brotherhoodincluded – lost both their status as Churches and the corresponding benefits. They were, however, free to continue their religious activities as associations. Continue reading →
UKIP has made a commitment in its Manifesto to ban the public wearing of the burqa and niqab. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, UKIP’s leader, Paul Nuttall, said wearing a burqa or niqab in public was a barrier to integration and a security risk and that Muslim women who defied the ban would face a fine. Somewhat counter-intuitively, he also told Andrew Marr that “Manfred Weber, who’s the leader of the biggest group in the European Parliament, is now talking about an EU-wide ban. We can either be on the curve on this or behind the curve.” UKIP also proposes to outlaw sharia in the UK, though Nuttall told Marr that there were no proposals to ban Jewish religious courts because the Jewish population was smaller than the Muslim population.
All of which is interesting. A general ban on face-covering in public would no doubt survive a challenge at Strasbourg and probably at Luxembourg as well: see S.A.S,Achbita and Bougnaoui. There is, however, a slight snag with a UK-wide ban: Continue reading →
On 18 April we published a short post on the announcement by the Prime Minister of her intention to move a motion for an early election in the House of Commons on the following day, under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The House of Commons Library immediately published a helpful short guide to the election, and for anoraks, it answers the question: Will the Manchester Gorton by-election go ahead? vide infra. The House of Commons Library has also produced a briefing on the Fixed Term ParliamentsAct.