Law and religion round-up – 4th February

The week in which Rose Wild gave the blog a name-check (£, alas) in The Times…

…but we can give you unlimited free access to our original post, Paganism, religion and human rights.

Education and social cohesion and HM Chief Inspector

On Thursday, Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, made a speech at the conference of the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership. Perhaps her major concern was the need to ensure that schools upheld “fundamental British values” and equality. She called for “a muscular liberalism” that had “no truck for ideologies that want to close minds or narrow opportunity”. We summarised her speech here, to which the CofE Press Release of the conference made only passing reference.

Marriage certification Continue reading

EU recognition of same-sex marriage? Coman


Adrian Coman is a Romanian. He married his male partner, Claibourn Robert Hamilton – a US citizen – in Belgium in 2010 and the couple currently lives in the US. In 2012, Mr Coman asked the Romanian immigration authorities about obtaining a residence permit for his spouse. He was told that a permit would be refused because the Romanian Civil Code bans the recognition of same-sex marriages performed abroad. However, if Mr Coman’s spouse had been a woman, the marriage would have been recognised automatically and she would have been entitled to a residence permit ipso facto.

The couple sought judicial review, Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 7th January

Marriage and parochial fees, Gift Aid, Scientologists, hijabs, Brexit – and priority for Buddhist monks…

Marriage certificates

The Sunday Times reported (£) on New Year’s Eve that the Home Office is likely to approve the inclusion of mothers’ names on marriage certificates. According to the report, “A Home Office source told The Sunday Times the proposal had been ‘signed off’, and a spokeswoman confirmed that it wanted to include mothers’ details. These will also appear on civil partnership certificates.”

The issue is currently the subject of two identical private Member’s bills tabled by Dame Caroline Spelman in the Commons and by the Bishop of St Albans in the Lords. The Lords bill is to have its second reading debate on 26 January.

“Get me to the church on time”

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Non-recognition of third-country talaq divorce: Sahyouni

The CJEU has ruled in Sahyouni v Mamisch [2017] ECJ Case C‑372/16 that a talaq divorce pronounced in a third country does not attract the provisions of Article 1 of Regulation No 1259/2010 on enhanced cooperation in the law applicable to divorce and legal separation.

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Achbita: the (interim) domestic outcome

I noted briefly in an earlier post – primarily on the French case of Bougnaoui – that the Belgian Cour de Cassation/Hof van Cassatie had handed down judgment in Achbita on 9 October 2017. The judgment is now available: so far as I can discover, in Dutch only.

Readers will recall that Ms Achbita was dismissed by her employer, G4S Secure Solutions nv, because she refused to comply with an instruction to remove her hijab when visiting the company’s clients. Continue reading

Religious dress: Bougnaoui in the French Cour de Cassation

The French Cour de Cassation has handed down its judgment in the case of Ms Asma Bougnaoui, a Muslim design engineer sacked for refusing to remove her hijab when visiting the firm’s customers.


Regular readers will recall that Ms Bougnaoui worked for the French information technology company Micropole SA. She wore a hijab at work but was told by her employer to remove it while visiting a client after the client’s staff had complained about her appearance Continue reading

Religion, employment and the Genuine Occupational Requirement: Egenberger

Advocate General Tanchev has today published his Opinion in the case of Vera Egenberger v Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V. [2017] ECJ C-414/16.


Ms Egenberger applied for a job advertised by the Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung [EWDE], an auxiliary organisation of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland [EKD] which is governed by private law and exclusively pursues charitable, benevolent and religious purposes. Continue reading