EU recognition of sharia divorce decrees: Sahyouni

Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe has issued his Opinion on a request for a preliminary ruling from the Oberlandesgericht München (Higher Regional Court of Munich) on the interpretation of Council Regulation (EU) No 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the scope of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation. The case concerns recognition in Germany of a divorce decision adopted by a religious body in Syria [1 & 2]. Continue reading

The UK and the CJEU after Brexit

Amid much media speculation, the Government has published its position paper on post-Brexit relations between the UK and the Court of Justice of the European Union. It begins

“1. In leaving the European Union, we will bring about an end to the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)”

– which some critics claim is a “climb-down”, arguing that the word “direct” leaves room for the CJEU to continue to influence UK jurisprudence. 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

Religion, real property, the EU and State aid: Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania

Article IV of the Agreement of 3 January 1979 (“the Agreement”) between the Spanish State and the Holy See concerning financial matters provides that:

“1. The Holy See, the Bishops’ Conference, dioceses, parishes and other territorial units, religious orders and congregations and ‘institutes of consecrated life’ and their provinces and houses shall be entitled to the following exemptions:

(A) …

(B) full and permanent exemption from taxes on property and earnings from property, as regards income and assets.

This exemption shall not apply to income arising from economic activities or from assets belonging to the Church in respect of which use has been assigned to third parties; nor shall it apply to capital gains or to income which is subject to deduction at source of income tax.”

The Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania is on the register of religious entities kept by the Spanish Ministry of Justice and the Agreement applies to it. It owns a complex of buildings in Getafe and La Inmaculada school, which is run by the Congregation, is part of that complex [13]. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 25th June

Factual rather than “patriotic” coverage of the week’s events…

EU-UK Brexit talks

Whilst it is premature to comment extensively on the Brexit talks between the UK and the EU, one outcome of Monday’s meeting was agreement on the EU’s insistence on “sequencing”. Article 50 TFEU envisages two agreements: an exit agreement concerning issues relating to the departure of the UK from the EU and an agreement on future relations, which for the UK essentially means trade. David Allen Green comments: ”The UK want(ed) both to be negotiated together, in parallel. The EU wanted a number of preliminary issues discussed before the parties moved on to discussing future trade relations”. The UK’s insistence on “sequencing” was likely to be, in the words of David Davis, “the row of the summer”. However, the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, stated:

“In a first step, we will deal with the most pressing issues. We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit. We want to make sure that the withdrawal of the UK happens in an orderly manner. Then, in a second step, we will scope our future relationship.”

This was confirmed by the Department for Exiting the European Union.

The Queen’s Speech and the Great Repeal Bill

The Government’s intention as announced in the Gracious Speech on Wednesday is that the (evidently no longer “Great”) Repeal Bill will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after Brexit as before it. The Bill will: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 4th June

Another serious incident in London …

The Labour Party, race and faith

The Labour Party published its Race and Faith Manifesto – which has quite a lot to say about race and ethnicity but not very much specifically about religion other than that Labour “will strengthen our communities’ rights to practice [sic] their religion free from persecution” and “defend the right to wear all forms of religious and other dress of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and many others”. It does, however, include a specific condemnation of antisemitism and pledges “a review the Prevent programme with a view [to] assessing its effectiveness and potential to alienate minority communities”.

The European Parliament and antisemitism

On Thursday, the European Parliament agreed a resolution urging stronger action against antisemitism across the EU.

Continue reading