“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” .
The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland has issued the following press release concerning complaints about the Cromasaig Bed and Breakfast website:
“Commission concludes ‘heterosexual friendly’ bed and breakfast case
Published: 15 Jun 2017
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland has reached a successful conclusion in its case against the owners of a bed and breakfast. The EHRC had received several complaints about the Cromasaig Bed and Breakfast website, which previously stated it is a ‘heterosexual friendly bed and breakfast’.
This morning, 15 March, Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke) (Con) asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities “if she will make a statement on the recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling allowing employers to ban workers from wearing religious dress and symbols in the workplace”. Following is a quick summary of the most important points.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities (Caroline Dinenage) replied as follows:
“The Government are completely opposed to discrimination, including on grounds of gender or religion, or both. It is the right of all women to choose how they dress, and we do not believe that the judgments change that. Exactly the same legal protections apply today as applied before the rulings. In both the Achbita case and the Bougnaoui case, the judgment was that there was no direct discrimination, but that there was some discrimination. A rule is directly discriminatory if it treats someone less favourably because of their sex, race, religion or whatever. A rule is indirectly discriminatory if, on the face of it, it treats everyone the same, but some people, because of their race, religion, sex and so on, find it harder to comply than others do. Indirect discrimination may be justifiable if an employer is acting in a proportionate manner to achieve a legitimate aim. Continue reading →
An extraordinarily busy week dominated by Brexit – and just how many more times will we find ourselves saying that?
Brexit and the Supreme Court
Although we steadfastly avoided predicting the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal in the Brexit cases, we were not at all surprised either at the result or that it was an 8/3 split decision. We do not intend to add to the already a mass of analysis on the legal blogs by commentators much more expert than we are; they have been summarized by Robert Craig on the Constitutional Law Group site: Miller: An Index of Reports and Commentary. Continue reading →
Today, 2 December, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published its updated Guidance on religion and belief in the workplace. It also published Religion or belief – is the law working?, which explores whether Great Britain’s equality and human rights legal framework gives sufficient protection to individuals with a religion or belief and religion or belief organisations, while balancing the rights of others under the Equality Act 2010. The evaluation focuses on four questions:
Is the legal approach to defining a religion or a belief effective?
Are the Equality Act exceptions allowing religion or belief requirements to influence employment decisions sufficient and appropriate?
Does the law sufficiently protect employees wishing to manifest a religion or belief at work?
Does the law sufficiently protect service users and service providers in relation to religion or belief?
Some thoughts on the “Meet the Editors and Bloggers” session at the LARSN Conference
Since June 2012, Law and Religion UK has provided a forum for what is billed as an “academically-rigorous exploration of the interactions between law and religion, together with the associated human rights issues”. This post is based on our own experience and explores what we believe to be the benefits and problems concomitant with the potential to communicate with up to one thousand potential readers through a couple of “clicks of the mouse”. Continue reading →