Conservative religious views, parental access, the ECHR – and blogging: A v Cornwall Council

In a rather unusual case, Dingemans J has had to consider whether the moral attitudes – as revealed by his blog posts – of a father who was estranged from the mother of his son supported the Family Court’s decision not to allow him parental access.

The background

In A v Cornwall Council [2017] EWHC 842 (QB), A believed that abortion and same-sex relationships were both wrong. A’s relationship with M had broken down and he was refused contact with their son, S. A claimed that the Council had prevented him having direct contact and had not supported his application to have S live with him because of the views he had blogged about abortion and same-sex marriage – and that the Council had violated his Convention rights. The Council denied the claim and said that it had conducted proper safeguarding inquiries about S and had made proper recommendations to the Family Court that had taken the relevant decisions [1]. Continue reading

Criminal records checks – getting it right

Elizabeth Prochaska, Consultant in Child Protection Unit at Farrer & Co, has kindly permitted us to cross-post “Criminal records checks – getting it right” first published on the website of Farrer & Co in April 2017

In January, the DBS announced the results of its initial compliance inspections of registered bodies and identified inappropriate barred list checks as one of its biggest areas of concern. The DBS has been visiting registered bodies since March 2016 and checking compliance with the DBS code of practice. The inspections revealed that registered bodies are requesting barred list checks when they are not required. The DBS said: ‘This is an offence and may result in an RB receiving information they are not legally entitled to see and the applicant being inappropriately investigated for trying to work in an activity they are barred from.’ Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 16th April

“Till trump from east to west, shall wake the dead in number”

“This joyful Eastertide” 
George Ratcliffe Woodward and Charles Wood

Brexit

The European Commission has a new website devoted to Brexit, which will include everything from the latest speeches to official documents as they are published. The sub-section of the main Commission website currently has a chart of the Brexit task force and directs users to the Twitter account of EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, for the latest news.

Abortion and conscientious objection in Sweden

In November 2015 we noted the case of Ms Ellinor Grimmark, a Swedish midwife who objects to abortion because of her Christian beliefs. Continue reading

Jehovah’s Witnesses lose appeal to block New Moston inquiry

In Tayo & Ors (Trustees of Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses) v Charity Commission for England and Wales [2017] UKUT 134 (TCC), the trustees of Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses lost their appeal against the First Tier Tribunal’s refusal in 2015 – which we noted at the time – to review the Charity Commission’s decision to open a statutory inquiry into the charity under s 46 Charities Act 2011. Continue reading

Easter Bells at York Minster

Progress with recruitment of new band of ringers

In our post Recruitment of Head of Bell Tower – York Minster we reported that the Minster was inviting experienced bell ringers to apply for the role of Head of Bell Tower, and interviews were planned for 11 March. Commenting on The Guardian headlineThe bells of York Minster could ring out on Easter Sunday after it began the search for a replacement bellringing team”, we cautioned that assuming a successful applicant is selected on 11 March, (i.e. the day before the 2nd Sunday in Lent), there would be a relatively short time if this were to be achieved.

The York Press now reportsMinster plans for Easter bells” stating that “York Minster and says arrangements are in hand for its famous bells to be rung again at Easter by visiting bands of bellringers – as happened just before Christmas… Continue reading