Law and religion round-up – 4th March

Coroners, IICSA, diversity, pews – and some of the more puzzling things that people do in church… 

Coronial jurisdiction and the “cab-rank rule”

As readers will recall, the decision of HM Coroner for Inner North London, Ms Mary Hassell, not to prioritise the release of a body for burial to meet the religious needs of the deceased or the deceased’s family, even when doing so would cause no material disadvantage to others, has been challenged by the Adath Yisroel Burial Society and a judicial review hearing is due to take place on 27 and 28 March before Singh LJ.

Joshua Rozenberg reports on the latest state of play in Legal Cheek [see the second part of his post]. Continue reading

CCTV in Churches – windows into men’s souls?

Diocesan guidance on CCTV to reflect government Code of Practice

Churches have been encouraged to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) as an aid to the security of their contents and personnel, and in relation to hate crime and terrorist threats. Until recently, the church courts’ considerations of the installation of audio-visual equipment within a church have been restricted to petitions concerning projectors, screens, &c. However, a recent judgment in the diocese of Canterbury has addressed the use and storage of CCTV footage, data protection, and recommended what criteria might be adopted in the future.  Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 25th February

Surrogacy, charity, matrimony, heraldry, privacy, hospitality …

Reforming the law on surrogacy

As we noted at the time, on 14 December the Law Commission for England & Wales announced that one of the subjects to be included in its Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform would be surrogacy. The Scottish Law Commission has also now announced – in almost identical terms – that it, too, will be looking at surrogacy as part of its Tenth Programme and will do so in a joint project with the Law Commission for England and Wales. Continue reading

Heraldic memorials in churches

A “cut and keep” judgment on this obscure aspect of ecclesiastical law

A recent judgment on the installation of a hatchment in the church of St Mary Magdalene, Adlestrop, includes an examination of the arcane rules of heraldry and their present-day relevance in the Church of England. Continue reading

Wi-Fi in churches: the Government-Church Accord

A  more detailed analysis of the Accord on digital connectivity

On 18 February, details were published of an accord (“the Accord”), signed by the Church of England’s NCIs, DCMS and Defra, which encourages the Church of England to use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity for local communities. The main features of the Accord are summarized below and the implications considered.  Continue reading

Digital connectivity with the CofE

Accord between CofE’s NCIs and HMG on digital connectivity

An Accord, signed by the National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), encourages the Church of England to use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity for local communities.  Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 18th February

A week in which it appeared that some people seemed to think that attracting children into church was something to be discouraged…

HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London again

The Law Society Gazette reports that Jeremy Corbyn has entered the fray over the “cab-rank rule” adopted by HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, for processing deaths in her coronial district. According to the report, he and the Shadow Attorney, Emily Thornberry, have written to the Chief Coroner, HHJ Lucraft QC, to the effect that Ms Hassell’s approach is “unacceptable” and that grieving relatives are experiencing “unnecessary delays and barriers to laying loved ones to rest”. Continue reading