Heterosexual bed & breakfast in Scotland

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’.

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Urgent Commons question on CJEU rulings in Achbita and Bougnaoui

Visible Religious Symbols: European Court Ruling

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

Law and religion round-up – 29th January

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

Law and religion round-up – 18th December

Brexit, Brexit, yet more Brexit, IICSA soldiers on – and the Joint Committee on Human Rights turns a beady eye on suspending the ECHR in times of conflict


Robert Craig, of the LSE Law School, has produced an extraordinarily helpful summary of the proceedings before the UKSC in Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union:

  • Day 1: Initial Statement and the Attorney General.
  • Day 2: James Eadie QC, the Advocate General for Scotland, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and Lord Pannick QC.
  • Day 3: Lord Pannick QC, Dominic Chambers QC, David Scoffield, Ronan Lavery QC and the Lord Advocate.
  • Day 4: the Lord Advocate, Richard Gordon QC, Helen Mountfield QC, Manjit Gill QC, Patrick Green QC, Advocate-General for Scotland and James Eadie QC.

Brexit – II

Whilst government continues to struggle with the meaning of “Brexit”, the word has now entered the Oxford English DictionaryContinue reading

The Equality and Human Rights Commission on religion & belief

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?

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Writing on the “graffiti wall of death” – the role of an academic blog

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

Law & Religion 2015 and 2016: retrospect and prospect

So that was 2015…


The General Election 2015

Inevitably, the biggest domestic news of 2015 was the outcome of the general election: a Conservative Government with an overall majority, a rout for the Liberal Democrats and a landslide for the SNP, which won 56 out of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats. The result raised several issues generally relevant to some of what we cover in this blog: the future of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the domestic applicability of the ECHR, the UK’s future (or not) as a member of the EU and law reform generally.

After a Government defeat in the House of Lords following a debate on secondary legislation during which the Lords Spiritual played an important part, Lord Strathclyde was asked in October to consider “how to secure the decisive role of the House of Commons in relation to its primacy on financial matters and secondary legislation”. His recommendations were published in December.

Assisted dying

On Friday 11 September the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill, a private Member’s bill introduced by Rob Marris to mirror Lord Falconer’s bill in the House of Lords, was debated on second reading. It was defeated by 330 votes to 118: a majority of 212. That probably settles the matter for the remainder of the present Parliament.

Clergy employment Continue reading