Law and religion round-up – 26th February

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 [2017] EWCA Civ 81: we noted the decision here. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 19th February

A week dominated by THAT vote in Synod…

The week in Synod

The Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, prefaced the week with a tweet:

“For half term week the C of E sets up a special holiday club called Synod, where we try to play nicely with all the other girls and boys”.

Whether they did “play nicely” was not easy to discern; Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 5th February

Brexit yet again, child abuse, abortion, deposition from Orders – the usual mix…

Brexit yet again

On Friday, the Administrative Court threw out the latest Brexit challenge by a group led by Peter Wilding and Adrian Yalland. They argued that, under the terms of Article 127 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, Parliament should give separate approval to the UK’s exit from the EEA.

Lloyd-Jones LJ and Lewis J concluded that the Government had not made a decision “as to the mechanism by which the EEA agreement would cease to apply within the UK”. As a result, it was not clear at this stage what issues, if any, would fall within the jurisdiction of the courts. All we have at the moment is press reports: we’ll be interested to see the written judgment.

‘EU Withdrawal Bill’ – Second Reading and White Paper Continue reading

Sexuality issues and relevant legal provisions

The current legal provisions underpinning the House of Bishops Report

On 27 January, the Church of England published Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: A Report from the House of Bishops, GS 2055. The Bishops comment:

“We know that this report may prove challenging or difficult reading. We are confident, however, that the commitment that has been shown to listening to one another, not least through the Shared Conversations, in dioceses and in the General Synod, will have helped prepare us all as members of Synod to address together the challenges we face as a part of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We would ask for it to be read as a whole, with each paragraph being understood in the context of the whole report“.

The House was also provided with legal advice which described the effect of the relevant provisions of ecclesiastical law [19]. The parts of that advice which are material to the content of this report are attached as ANNEX 1, which is reproduced below [emboldening in original]: Continue reading

Pemberton v Inwood: a note

Background

Canon Jeremy Pemberton married his long-term partner, Laurence Cunnington in 2014. The Appendix to the Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage sets out the current position of the Church of England adopted by the House of Bishops as follows:

“27.  The House is not … willing for those who are in a same sex marriage to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry. In addition it considers that it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church’s teaching in their lives. Continue reading

Law & Religion 2016 and 2017: retrospect and prospect

Could 2017 be quite as horrible as 2016? Read on…

…and (maybe) weep

All else in 2016 paled into insignificance beside the vote for Brexit and the election of the next President of Trumpton. Needless to say, as a couple of grumpy OAPs raised in more liberal and rational times, we were not delighted at either outcome. Whether 2017 will be any better, who knows? Brexit will drag on and on, the situation in Syria will no doubt deteriorate further, Marine Le Pen might be the new President of France. Or the French electorate might have more sense and The Donald might not, after all, turn out to be as mad a box of frogs, though we aren’t holding our breath.

But apart from all that, there was quite a bit of law and religion. Continue reading