HM Chief Inspector on illegal religious schools

Ofsted has published its Annual Report – the first for Amanda Spielman as HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Of particular interest to this blog are the Report’s comments about conservative religious schools where the legal requirements for shared values and tolerance clash with community expectations, and the creation of illegal ‘schools’ that avoid teaching the unifying messages taught in the vast majority of schools in England. The relevant section of the Report is worth reproducing in full:

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Wearing religious symbols in court: Hamidović

in Hamidović v Bosnia and Herzegovina [2017] ECHR 1101, the European Court of Human Rights held, by six votes to one, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (thought, conscience and religion) ECHR.

The background

The applicant, Mr Hamidović, is a Muslim. In 2012 he was a witness in the criminal trial of Mr Mevlid Jašarević, a member of the local group advocating the Wahhabi/Salafi version of Islam. The judge ordered him to remove his skullcap and when he refused he was expelled from the courtroom and was subsequently convicted of contempt of court and fined [7]. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 10th December

The usual mix of news that seemed to be important and stuff that simply caught our eye…

Future progress on Brexit

Possibly the most important news of the week – though it impacts on “religion” only tangentially (unless you’re the bishop of four dioceses that straddle the Irish border, in which case it impacts quite strongly) – was the statement on progress in the Brexit negotiations. In brief, the parties have agreed that there will be no hard border between the two parts of Ireland and that the existing rights of EU citizens living in the UK and of UK citizens living in the (rest of) the EU will be respected. Phew!

The Charity Commission on safeguarding

The Charity Commission has issued a new safeguarding strategy. Continue reading

Achbita: the (interim) domestic outcome

I noted briefly in an earlier post – primarily on the French case of Bougnaoui – that the Belgian Cour de Cassation/Hof van Cassatie had handed down judgment in Achbita on 9 October 2017. The judgment is now available: so far as I can discover, in Dutch only.

Readers will recall that Ms Achbita was dismissed by her employer, G4S Secure Solutions nv, because she refused to comply with an instruction to remove her hijab when visiting the company’s clients. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 3rd December

A relationships-dominated round-up, from cohabiting via prenups to divorce

Baroness Hale calls for no-fault divorce

In an interview in The Times (£), the President of the Supreme Court has called for the reform of divorce law in England and Wales and said that it is time to look again at proposals made when she was at the Law Commission in the 1990s, suggesting that divorcing couples do not want to allege fault and that “it ups the ante. It is a difficult time for everybody”: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 26th November

A week in which marriage and cohabitation were much in the news and GAFCON claimed its first scalp (or should that be bonnet?) in Scotland…

Unrecognised religious marriages

A survey for The Truth about Muslim Marriage, a documentary broadcast on Channel 4 on Tuesday, suggested that as many as 200,000 Muslim couples may be living in unregistered marriages. The survey of 923 Muslim women revealed that while 78 per cent wanted their marriages to be legally valid, 61 per cent had had a nikah ceremony only. It also suggested that some 28 per cent of those women who had married in a nikah ceremony were unaware that it did not give them the same rights and protections as a legally-recognised marriage. Continue reading

Religious dress: Bougnaoui in the French Cour de Cassation

The French Cour de Cassation has handed down its judgment in the case of Ms Asma Bougnaoui, a Muslim design engineer sacked for refusing to remove her hijab when visiting the firm’s customers.

Background

Regular readers will recall that Ms Bougnaoui worked for the French information technology company Micropole SA. She wore a hijab at work but was told by her employer to remove it while visiting a client after the client’s staff had complained about her appearance Continue reading