And in a week overshadowed by the horrendous fire at Grenfell Tower and the fallout from the General Election …
Access for Northern Ireland women to free abortion in England
On Thursday we posted Frank’s analysis of R (A and B) v Secretary of State for Health UKSC 41 in which the Supreme Court considered:
Was the Secretary of State ‘s failure to exercise his power to require abortion services to be provided through the NHS in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland unlawful as a failure to discharge his duty under s 3 of the National Health Service Act 2006 to “take such steps as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements” for services?
Does the continuing failure to provide free abortion services in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland infringe Articles 14 (discrimination) and 8 (private and family life) ECHR?
The appeal was dismissed by a 3-2 majority, and we suggested that it is quite possible that the case is bound for Strasbourg. Continue reading →
A week dominated by Brexit, ‘First Minister vs Prime Minister’ and the fall-out from the first judgments of the CJEU on religious manifestation…
As expected, on Monday the Commons rejected the Lords amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, the Lords did not insist on their amendments and the bill passed. So after a total of 70 hours of debate, the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent on Thursday. The BBC reports that the Prime Minister is expected to wait until the end of the month formally to notify the EU of the UK’s intention to leave.
The boundary between ecclesiastical and statutory legislation
The challenges faced by cemeteries and churchyards in meeting the current shortage of burial space have been considered in earlier posts, primarily in relation to the re-use of graves and more recently in the case of the development of a private cemetery. The recently-reported example of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries broadens these considerations to the wholesale development of areas of consecrated ground within a municipal cemetery, and the interface between the faculty jurisdiction and secular provisions. Continue reading →
Opposite-sex civil partnerships, RE, funny handshakes – and some of the media still don’t understand the difference between Brussels and Strasbourg…
Opposite-sex civil partnerships? Not yet
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan lost their appeal against the Administrative Court’s refusal to review the Government’s policy on the extension of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples: see Steinfeld & Anor v Secretary of State for Education EWCA Civ 81: we noted the decision here. Continue reading →
Tuesday 7 February marked the second day of the Committee stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. Policy wonks scouring the House of Commons Order Paper could therefore be forgiven for skipping over the section on Remaining Orders and Notices and missing the Private Business of New Southgate Cemetery Bill, the focus of this post. Whilst not quite as newsworthy as this (or even the Westminster Hall debate on overly aggressive seagulls in Torbay), it is a little closer to our core “law and religion” interests, highlights some of the issues associated with cemetery development, and provides a useful chronology of a Private Bill on this topic. Continue reading →