IICSA begins hearings on the Church of England, Ireland clears the way for a referendum on abortion and the President of the Supreme Court tackles the vexed question of niqabs in court.
Lady Hale on religious dress
The Supreme Court website has posted the text of Lady Hale’s Sultan Azlan Shah Lecture, given at Oxford in January, on religious dress and, in particular, on the vexed issue of Muslim women wearing niqab veils in court. In a nutshell: Continue reading →
In two earlier posts – linked below – Peter Edge, Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes, commented on the earlier debates in Tynwald on the position of the Bishop of Sodor and Man. In a cross-post from his own blog, he reports on the conclusion to the debate.
Coroners, IICSA, diversity, pews – and some of the more puzzling things that people do in church…
Coronial jurisdiction and the “cab-rank rule”
As readers will recall, the decision of HM Coroner for Inner North London, Ms Mary Hassell, not to prioritise the release of a body for burial to meet the religious needs of the deceased or the deceased’s family, even when doing so would cause no material disadvantage to others, has been challenged by the Adath Yisroel Burial Society and a judicial review hearing is due to take place on 27 and 28 March before Singh LJ.
On 1 March, the House of Commons held a debatein Westminster Hall on freedom of religion or belief (FORB), introduced by Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP), Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, which – he pointed out, “speaks on behalf of those with Christian belief, those with other beliefs and those with no belief”. The purpose of the debate was to highlight FORB issues that the Government might raise at the UN Human Rights Council.
Shannon wished to raise issues such as the continued state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’is in Iran and forced conversion in Pakistan; however, issues of perceived religious discrimination in the United Kingdom were also raised – and the extracts from the debate in this brief summary concentrate on those.
In Mockutė v Lithuania ECHR 200, Ms Neringa Mockutė complained about breaches of her right to privacy and her right freely to exercise her religion during a period of involuntary hospitalisation.
In 2003 Ms Mockutė suffered a breakdown and was forcibly admitted to Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital, where she was diagnosed with acute psychosis and remained for 52 days. During this time a documentary was aired on national television which featured Ms Mockutė’s doctor, mother and sister, referred to the centre where she practised meditation of the Osho religious movement and discussed Ms Mockutė’s situation, referring to her by a pseudonym, “Violeta”. Continue reading →
On Sunday, we had our millionth page-view: rather sooner than we expected and a prospect that we could hardly have contemplated when we started this enterprise in June 2012 over a pint (or two) in the Maltsters at Llandaff during a break from the LLM (Canon Law) course. Almost 2,000 posts later, this one marks some of the highlights since the blog was first launched and in anticipation of its new (slightly) revised format, looks towards the future. Continue reading →
As we noted at the time, on 14 December the Law Commission for England & Wales announced that one of the subjects to be included in its Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform would be surrogacy. The Scottish Law Commission has also now announced – in almost identical terms – that it, too, will be looking at surrogacy as part of its Tenth Programme and will do so in a joint project with the Law Commission for England and Wales. Continue reading →