A typical eclectic mix of news from the world of law and religion…
Organ donation – presumed consent
One aspect of the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference on Wednesday that received relatively little media attention was her announcementof plans to move to a system of presumed consent for organ donation under which everyone would be presumed to agree to the removal and reuse of body parts after their death unless they opted out, rather than the present situation in which it is necessary to opt in to organ donation. However, the issue is not straightforward and the approach of different faith groups to organ donation complicates the matter. Continue reading →
Brexit (inevitably), school dress codes, clergy employment, humanist marriage, religious karaoke – another mixed bag…
On Monday, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was given its second reading: Ayes, 326: Noes: 290. The Bill stands committed to a Committee of the whole House for eight days of detailed debate.
The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government both declined to recommend that legislative consent be given to the Bill by their legislatures unless it is amended to address their specific concerns.
Primary school uniform
Also on Monday, we reported the case of a husband and wife who had withdrawn their six-year-old son from his Church of England primary school after a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress to school. Continue reading →
Historic England (HE) has published advice, prepared by Diana Evans, Head of Places of Worship Advice, on its involvement with proposals to install telecommunications equipment. HE is the statutory adviser to local authorities and the five listed denominations in accordance with the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 and the Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010. Therefore, if an installation will make changes to historic fabric that could affect the character or significance of a listed building, HE must be consulted – whether a congregation is seeking permission through its denominational advisory body or through the local authority. Continue reading →
“The (Great) Clock hath ceased to sound, The long day closes”
Henry Fothergill Chorley & Arthur Sullivan, (1868)
… but midday on 21st August had nothing to do with Brexit – or ecclesiastical law for that matter – unless it provides a segue into a reprise of one of our posts on bells, the closure of the Whitechapel bell foundry, or recent eventsat York Minster; Sullivan’s part-songThe Long Day Closes had a degree of popularity at events of mourning, and was often sung at funerals of members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. However, Frank’s And finally, below, places Monday’s media and political nonsense into context.
Brexit and the UK courts
On Wednesday, the Government published its position paper on post-Brexit relations between the UK and the Court of Justice of the European Union: we noted it briefly here. The pledge to bring an end to “the direct jurisdiction of the Court” led critics to argue that the inclusion of the word “direct” leaves room for the CJEU to continue to influence UK jurisprudence. Tobias Lock has posted a helpful preliminary analysis on Verfassungsblog. Continue reading →
A week that saw everything from an important ruling on the scope of the Guidance on the Prevent Duty to mistaken identity in a Cardiff pub..
The Prevent Duty, under which “specified authorities” – includiing schools and colleges – must show “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, is somewhat controversial. Supporters insist that it is fundamentally about safeguarding students against all forms of extremism, while critics argue that Prevent predominantly targets – and stigmatises – Muslim communities. Continue reading →
A busy week, dominated by the tragic case of Charlie Gard.
We have been following the recent Charlie Gard case, but we refrained from reporting on day-to-day developments in the case because we felt that the issues involved were beyond our remit and the medical aspects were well outside our specific expertise. In his judgment in Great Ormond Street Hospital v Gard EWHC 1909 (Fam) Mr Justice Francis commented:
“A lot of things have been said, particularly in recent days, by those who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions. Many opinions have been expressed based on feelings rather than facts” .
“The world of social media doubtless has very many benefits but one of its pitfalls, I suggest, is that when cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to express opinions, whether or not they are evidence-based” . Continue reading →
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that from September 2017 it will support places of worship seeking grants for repairs through its open grant programmes rather than through its dedicated Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) scheme. Historic England has now published details of the future pattern of support as follows: