“Misconduct in Public Office” revisited

Publication of An Abuse of Faith – the independent report by Dame Moira Gibb into the Church’s handling of the Bishop Peter Ball case – prompted a number of comments concerning possible follow-up actions in relation to Lord Carey’s involvement.  Continue reading

Abortion and human rights in Northern Ireland [updated]

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal by the Attorney General, John Larkin QC, against the Order made by Horner J at first instance in which he held that the abortion law in Northern Ireland was incompatible with the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 in the circumstances where the foetus was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality or where the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. It quashed the declaration and concluded, by a majority, that the Court should not intervene in what was a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide. Continue reading

Tynwald and the Bishop of Sodor & Man

In this guest post, Peter Edge, Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes, comments on the latest instalment of the debate on the position of the Bishop of Sodor and Man in the Manx legislature.

The Isle of Man is a largely autonomous territory of the UK Crown, with its own legislature, Tynwald, which has very extensive powers. Tynwald regularly meets as a single body, but much of its business, especially its legislative business, happens in the two Branches: the directly-elected House of Keys, consisting of 24 MHKs, and the Legislative Council. The Council, formerly composed of Crown officers, is now mainly composed of MLCs appointed by the House of Keys. Two Crown appointees remain in the Council, however: the Attorney General (who contributes to debates but does not have  a vote), and the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, who has both a voice and a vote. Continue reading

Lord Carey resigns as honorary assistant bishop

The Bishop of Oxford has released the following press statement:

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 25th June

Factual rather than “patriotic” coverage of the week’s events…

EU-UK Brexit talks

Whilst it is premature to comment extensively on the Brexit talks between the UK and the EU, one outcome of Monday’s meeting was agreement on the EU’s insistence on “sequencing”. Article 50 TFEU envisages two agreements: an exit agreement concerning issues relating to the departure of the UK from the EU and an agreement on future relations, which for the UK essentially means trade. David Allen Green comments: ”The UK want(ed) both to be negotiated together, in parallel. The EU wanted a number of preliminary issues discussed before the parties moved on to discussing future trade relations”. The UK’s insistence on “sequencing” was likely to be, in the words of David Davis, “the row of the summer”. However, the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, stated:

“In a first step, we will deal with the most pressing issues. We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit. We want to make sure that the withdrawal of the UK happens in an orderly manner. Then, in a second step, we will scope our future relationship.”

This was confirmed by the Department for Exiting the European Union.

The Queen’s Speech and the Great Repeal Bill

The Government’s intention as announced in the Gracious Speech on Wednesday is that the (evidently no longer “Great”) Repeal Bill will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after Brexit as before it. The Bill will: Continue reading