A relationships-dominated round-up, from cohabiting via prenups to divorce
Baroness Hale calls for no-fault divorce
In an interview in The Times (£), the President of the Supreme Court has called for the reform of divorce law in England and Wales and said that it is time to look again at proposals made when she was at the Law Commission in the 1990s, suggesting that divorcing couples do not want to allege fault and that “it ups the ante. It is a difficult time for everybody”:Continue reading →
A bit of unashamed – and entirely unremunerated – advertorial…
For those of you who are unaware of its existence, the Ecclesiastical Law Society was founded in 1987, initially to fill what the late Quentin Edwards described as “an ecclesiastical law shaped hole in the Church of England from the dissolution of Doctors’ Commons in 1857”. Its stated purpose as a charity is “to promote the study of ecclesiastical and canon law, particularly in the Church of England and those churches in communion with it.” So on the face of it, the ELS may look like a group entirely concerned with the technicalities of Anglican ecclesiastical law; however, its activities range far more widely than that, not unlike this blog’s “occasional forays further afield”. Continue reading →
An incredibly busy week, but at least everyone’s had an extra hour in bed…
In a judgment of 13 October, Mr S T Uncles v NHS Commissioning Board and others UKET 1800958/2016, an Employment Tribunal held that a “philosophical belief in English nationalism” was not a protected characteristic in the terms of s10 Equality Act 2010. The ET applied the test in Grainger Plc & Ors v Nicholson UKEAT 0219/09/0311and concluded that, though the views expressed were genuinely held, were a belief about a weighty and substantial aspect of human life – namely national identity – and were serious, cohesive and important, they were nevertheless incompatible with the human dignity and fundamental rights of others. The claim failed: we noted it here. Continue reading →
… as until Friday, we thought it was going to be a quiet week for news, despite the MPs’ return to Parliament after the break for Party Conferences. In addition to our Saturday posts on Sex segregation in school, and the disposal of Ian Brady’s remains, reviewed below, shortly after the publication of this round-up, the Church of England issued a statement concerning the meditation that had taken place with the sexual abuse survivor known as “Gilo”; this prompted a response from Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc.
Sex segregation in school
On Friday, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services And Skills v The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School EWCA Civ 1426. The issue of principle before the Court was
“whether it is direct discrimination, contrary to sections 13 and 85 of the Equality Act 2010 for a mixed-sex school to have a complete segregation of male and female pupils over a certain age for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips” . Continue reading →
A typical eclectic mix of news from the world of law and religion…
Organ donation – presumed consent
One aspect of the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference on Wednesday that received relatively little media attention was her announcementof plans to move to a system of presumed consent for organ donation under which everyone would be presumed to agree to the removal and reuse of body parts after their death unless they opted out, rather than the present situation in which it is necessary to opt in to organ donation. However, the issue is not straightforward and the approach of different faith groups to organ donation complicates the matter. Continue reading →
The applicant, Károly Nagy, brought a compensation claim against the Hungarian Reformed Church following his dismissal as minister of Gödöllő parish. Disciplinary proceedings had been brought against him in June 2005 after a local newspaper had reported him as saying that state subsidies to a Calvinist boarding school had been paid unlawfully. He was immediately suspended and eventually dismissed, with effect from 1 May 2006, following a decision by the ecclesiastical courts. His attempts to sue in the labour and the civil courts failed for want of jurisdiction and the Supreme Court held that there was no enforceable contract between Mr Nagy and the Church. Continue reading →
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has agreed in principle to the report of its Theological Forum, An Approach to the Theology of Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Kirk’s press release, in presenting the report the Forum’s convener, the Very Revd Professor Iain Torrance, said that he and his colleagues could see “no sufficient theological reason for the Church not to authorise specific ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings”, adding that this would be possible “if doing so does not prejudice the position of those who decline to do so for reasons of conscience”.