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 →
In a guest post, Russell Sandberg, Head of Law and Reader in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff, is fairly unimpressed with the report of the Independent Review into the Application of Sharia Law in England and Wales
Today, 7 February 2018, is ten years to the day since Rowan Williams gave his lecture that illustrated the fear and heat surrounding the issue of sharia and how little we know about the operation of sharia law in the UK. Academic work in the last decade and some earlier work have meant that we now know a great deal about some sharia councils operate (or at least the representations they give to researchers). And there has been a great deal of literature by lawyers, political scientists, theologians and others into the range of issues that such institutions raise.
In particular, a literature has developed on the ‘minorities within minorities’ issue: the need to protect the rights of those within the communities, especially to ensure that there is no discrimination on grounds of gender.
The Times reports (£) that the new Justice Secretary, David Gauke, has agreed to look again at the case for ‘no-fault’ divorce. According to the report, he told the paper:
“I know The Times has campaigned vigorously for reform of family law, including fault-based divorce, and a number of respected figures have voiced their support for change. I acknowledge the strength of feeling on this issue and will study the evidence for change.”
Education and social cohesion and HM Chief Inspector
On Thursday, Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, made a speech at the conference of the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership. Perhaps her major concern was the need to ensure that schools upheld “fundamental British values” and equality. She called for “a muscular liberalism” that had “no truck for ideologies that want to close minds or narrow opportunity”. We summarised her speech here, to which the CofE Press Release of the conference made only passing reference.
The Home Office has today published the report of the independent review chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui into the application by sharia councils in England and Wales of sharia law. In brief, the report makes three recommendations: for legislative change, for awareness campaigns and for regulation.
The Irish Parliament wrestles with abortion law and, as the new Dean is installed at Peterborough, the Church of England wrestles with cathedral governance
The Irish abortion debate
Last week, Dáil Éireannconsidered the report of its Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in light of the recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly than the constitutional ban on abortion should be repealed. Continue reading →