Pork, school lunches and laïcité in Chalon-sur-Saône

Two years ago, we posted a note on the news that Gilles Platret, the Mayor of Chalon-sur-Saône, near Dijon, had decided in deference to the principle of laïcité to remove pork substitutes from school lunch menus and that his decision had been upheld by the local court. The result was that on some days the menu would offer either pork or … pork.

Needless to say, the local Muslim population was outraged by the change and, as we speculated at the time, that was not to be the end of the story. Continue reading

A Church Near You – update

Today, 30 August, the Church of England released details of the revision of A Church Near You (ACNY) site, following a report earlier this year by the Digital Communications team at Church House in London. They spoke to 1,800 people across the country to gather insights and thoughts on how to make the service much better for a site that receives more than 13 million page views each year. The announcement states: Continue reading

Consistory court evidence or “Call My Bluff”: Episode 1

The first (of two) posts on information submitted as evidence to consistory court 

In our monthly reviews of consistory court judgments, it is not uncommon to encounter assertions in the submissions of petitioners, the amenity societies, and even “experts” which are less than robust. However, in this ecclesiastical variant on “Call My Bluff“, the Chancellor/Commissary-General invariably sees through the weasel words, exaggerations &c, and the published judgments reveal how the perpetrators are diplomatically taken to task, as appropriate. However, whilst statements made on checkable facts are easy to identify, those that transcend the binary “true or bluff” question to matters of opinion or the assessment of a particular “expert” are more complex to assess. The following discussion includes a number of examples on which future petitioners might wish to ponder. Continue reading

Foster-care and “the religious background of the child”: update

Yesterday, 29 August, we noted the case of a five-year-old girl from a Christian family was placed in care with a Muslim couple. The local authority involved, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, said that there had been several inaccuracies in the reporting of the case: in particular, it rejected reports that the foster family did not speak English. Continue reading

Religious slaughter – consultation on labelling scheme

Soon-to-close consultation by industry body

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the statutory levy board representing farmers and growers, is consulting on the introduction of a new Halal Quality Standard Mark for all sheepmeat; as part of this scheme, the AHDB is proposing a new labelling system to indicate the method of slaughter used. However, the labels are not intuitively obvious and the wording “stun/with pre-stunning” will not be used in the primary branding of either mark. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 27th August

“The (Great) Clock hath ceased to sound, The long day closes”

Henry Fothergill Chorley & Arthur Sullivan, (1868)

… but midday on 21st August had nothing to do with Brexit – or ecclesiastical law for that matter – unless it provides a segue into a reprise of one of our posts on bells, the closure of the Whitechapel bell foundry, or recent events at York Minster; Sullivan’s part-song The Long Day Closes had a degree of popularity at events of mourning, and was often sung at funerals of members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. However, Frank’s And finally, below, places Monday’s media and political nonsense into context.

Brexit and the UK courts

On Wednesday, the Government published its position paper on post-Brexit relations between the UK and the Court of Justice of the European Union: we noted it briefly here.  The pledge to bring an end to “the direct jurisdiction of the Court” led critics to argue that the inclusion of the word “direct” leaves room for the CJEU to continue to influence UK jurisprudence. Tobias Lock has posted a helpful preliminary analysis on Verfassungsblog. Continue reading