Law and religion round-up – 12th November

 This week we were reminded that a “fulsome” apology meant a “sickeningly obsequious” one: aside from which there were a number of disparate issues that added up to a lengthy round-up…

Uber loses its appeal

Taxi firm Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed. Last year, an Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were employed by Uber and therefore entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the National Living Wage. Uber appealed, arguing that its drivers were self-employed and were under no obligation to use its booking app. In the Employment Appeal Tribunal, HHJ Eady was satisfied that the ET had not erred either in its approach or in its conclusions when it rejected Uber’s argument that it was simply connecting independent drivers with customers, Unsurprisingly, Uber has announced that it will appeal against the latest ruling.

Which has more to do with “religion” than you might think.  Continue reading

Obstructing worship and the Canadian Criminal Code

In this guest post, Alan Perry, Executive Archdeacon of Edmonton and a graduate of the Cardiff LLM course, explores one of the more unusual pitfalls of criminal law reform.

The Parliament of Canada is in the process of doing some clean-up and modernization of the Criminal Code. There was a particularly embarrassing situation about a year ago when a judge rendered a decision in a long and convoluted murder trial based on a provision of the Criminal Code that had been struck down a number of years ago by the Supreme Court but never formally repealed. The presence of a number of what were referred to colloquially as “zombie laws” in the Code, as well as some desire to make some other changes to the Code resulted in Bill C-51, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act”, which is currently before Parliament.

One of the provisions proposed for repeal, either on the ground of redundancy or of obsolescence, was section 176, which prohibits obstructing a cleric in the performance of his duties or disrupting worship. Continue reading

First Nation Canadians, sacred sites and judicial review: Ktunaxa

The Supreme Court of Canada has handed down judgment in Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) 2017 SCC 54 (CanLII), dismissing a challenge to the construction of a ski resort in an area in British Columbia of particular spiritual significance to the Ktunaxa Nation. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 3rd September

A busy week on the blog, but nevertheless, a very mixed bag of issues…

…and whilst those concerning the Psychoactive Substances Act have become more important, they are of peripheral interest to L&RUK. We have also refrained from commenting on events surrounding  St. Sepulchre Without Newgate, Holborn (a.k.a. “the Musicians’ Church”), and likewise on yesterday’s story in the Daily TelegraphVictorian Society criticises evangelical group for keeping churches ‘shuttered and barred’“, which appears to escalate the situation.

Brexit documents

The Jack of Kent blog, written by the indefatigable David Allen Green, has posted an extremely helpful Brexit negotiations resource page, covering links and materials relevant to the current Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Commission (on behalf of the EU) and restricted almost entirely to official documents. The links and materials are set out as follows: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 13th August

Blasphemy in Ireland, flying spaghetti in Germany, silly hats in Canada – just a typical week…

Ireland’s blasphemy laws “least restrictive in the world”? Possibly, but…

The Report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2017 noted that

“many countries in Western Europe, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy, retain legislation on blasphemy, defamation of religion, or ‘anti-religious remarks’, though these laws are seldom enforced. In one promising development, Ireland’s coalition government announced in May 2016 its intention to hold a referendum on the removal of its blasphemy law” [212].

Continue reading

Québec: may a Jew be compelled not to work on Saturdays?

May a Jew be compelled by his employer not to work on the Sabbath? That question recently came before the Québec Human Rights Tribunal.

Background

In Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Zilberg) c. 9220-3454 Québec Inc. (Spa Liv Zen (Spa Orazen)) 2017 QCTDP 13 (CanLII), the claimant, Richard Zilberg, was a hairstylist employed by Spa Orazen and its owner, Iris Gressy. He had a strong Jewish identity and attachment to his religion but chose not to observe Shabbat. So he worked six days a week including Saturday – which was the busiest day of the week at the salon. [6].

In 2012, Ms Gressy, who was herself Jewish, suggested that Mr Zilberg should stop working on Saturdays because he was a Jew. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 16th July

A quiet week, apart from…

… not the Great Repeal Bill

On Thursday, the Government published the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. We noted it here and the Parliament page on the Bill is here.

In Public Law for Everyone, Professor Mark Elliott’s post looks in some detail (albeit preliminarily) at how the EU (Withdrawal) Bill works, and comments on some of the key constitutional issues that it raises, here. As a taster (for both Brexiteers and Remainers), he concludes: Continue reading