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


© Copyright in individual posts is reserved to their authors.

CORAB and Living with Difference: a secularist response

Just over a year ago, the Woolf Institute’s Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss and otherwise known as CORAB, published Living with Difference: community, diversity and the common good. On 17 January, the University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies formally launched A Secularist Response to the Commission on Religion in Public Life, based on the outcome of panel discussions in March 2016 chaired by Dr Steven Kettell.  Continue reading

Brexit: the Government’s plan unveiled

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister gave a speech at Lancaster House in which she set out her plans for Brexit. She declared that she wanted “this United Kingdom” (which she subsequently kept calling “Britain”)

“to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country – a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly Global Britain – the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too.”

On future relations with the rest of Europe, she said this: Continue reading

Georgia, the JWs & human rights again: Tsartsidze & Ors


In Tsartsidze & Ors v Georgia [2017] ECHR No. 18766/04, the applicant Jehovah’s Witnesses alleged that in 2000 and 2001 they had been intimidated and attacked by Orthodox religious extremists and the Georgian authorities, including the police. In five separate incidents, some had been prevented from attending a religious meeting when stopped at a police checkpoint, while others had had their religious meetings disrupted or had been stopped in the street by the police when in possession of religious tracts. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 15th January

The usual mix of the newsworthy, the obscure and the faintly ridiculous… 

Historic abuse in Northern Ireland…

The final report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has been submitted to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and will be published on Friday 20 January (though whether Northern Ireland will still have an Executive on 20 January is another question entirely). The investigation, which started in 2013, has been chaired throughout by Sir Anthony Hart, a retired judge of the Northern Ireland High Court. It looked primarily into cases of abuse that took place in 22 residential homes for children between 1922 and 1995. Continue reading

York Minster Bells : “fundamentally flawed” application to consistory court

The statement relating to the axing of all 30 volunteer ringers at York Minster was issued on 17 October 2016. On 24 October 2016, HHJ Peter Collier QC, Chancellor of the Diocese of York and Vicar General of the Province of York, handed down his judgment in Re York Minster [2016] ECC Yor 3; he dismissed an application by a private individual for an injunction to stop the Dean & Chapter of York Minster preventing the ringing of the Minster bells. Continue reading

Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal Decision: Re Gomes – penalty

Disciplinary Tribunal assessment of penalties in CDM cases

On 27 October 2016, the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Sodor and Man handed down the judgment concerning the conduct of the Revd Dr Canon Jules Francis Paulinus Gomes, reviewed here. On 11 January 2017, the Church of England published the Tribunal’s decision regarding the penalty. Continue reading