Law and religion round-up – 25th June

Factual rather than “patriotic” coverage of the week’s events…

EU-UK Brexit talks

Whilst it is premature to comment extensively on the Brexit talks between the UK and the EU, one outcome of Monday’s meeting was agreement on the EU’s insistence on “sequencing”. Article 50 TFEU envisages two agreements: an exit agreement concerning issues relating to the departure of the UK from the EU and an agreement on future relations, which for the UK essentially means trade. David Allen Green comments: ”The UK want(ed) both to be negotiated together, in parallel. The EU wanted a number of preliminary issues discussed before the parties moved on to discussing future trade relations”. The UK’s insistence on “sequencing” was likely to be, in the words of David Davis, “the row of the summer”. However, the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, stated:

“In a first step, we will deal with the most pressing issues. We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit. We want to make sure that the withdrawal of the UK happens in an orderly manner. Then, in a second step, we will scope our future relationship.”

This was confirmed by the Department for Exiting the European Union.

The Queen’s Speech and the Great Repeal Bill

The Government’s intention as announced in the Gracious Speech on Wednesday is that the (evidently no longer “Great”) Repeal Bill will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after Brexit as before it. The Bill will: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 26th March

A week in which events were totally overshadowed by the attack in Westminster

A thoughtful consideration of those events from an insider’s point of view was presented by the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, in his Yorkshire Post article From a Palace of democracy to an Abbey of prayer, the best and worst of humanity, written just two hours after the end of the lockdown of parliamentarians and others, who had been transferred to Westminster Abbey.

Progress on Brexit

Prior to the Commons consideration of the Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] and the subsequent adjournment and lockdown of the parliamentary estate, a first reading was given to Tim Farron’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, Terms of Withdrawal from the European Union (Referendum). A second reading was scheduled for Friday 12 May – although its chances of becoming law are zero. Continue reading

Further support for Church Commissioners on climate change resolution at ExxonMobil

In our post Church Commissioners and ExxonMobil – Update we reported on the continuing momentum of the Church Commissioners’ initiative and their Press Release of 12 April which indicated that major investors had declared support for climate change resolution at ExxonMobil AGM.

On 9 May, the Commissioners published the following Press Release on the gathering pace as leading proxy agencies recommend support. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 8th May

We spent the latter part of the week at the Cardiff Festival of Law & Religion…

… which, you might think, is an unlikely subject to be festive about. But the purpose ofNorman IMG_1120(4) the Festival was to mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Wales/Cardiff University LLM in Canon Law and to launch The Confluence of Law and Religion (which we have noted previously). If nothing else, the conference showed just how much the field has grown in the last twenty-five years: there was a very big attendance, with scholars coming from as far afield as Australia, Canada and the US, and between them they read about fifty papers. We frequently found ourselves having to choose between two sessions taking place simultaneously, both of which we wanted to attend. Continue reading

Church Commissioners receive further awards

Two prizes at the Portfolio Institutional Awards in addition to the AAA rating by the AODP

Following the award of AAA rating to the Church Commissioners by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) reported here, today the Church of England announced that the Commissioners were the recipients of two further prizes at this year’s Portfolio Institutional Awards. The Church’s Press Release states:

“Church Commissioners receive investment awards and triple-A rating on climate change

03 May 2016

The Church Commissioners for England have taken home two prizes at this year’s Portfolio Institutional Awards – the Best Charity/ Fund/ Trust Award for the first time since 2013, and the Best Implementation of Responsible Investment Award for the second year in a row.

The awards come as the Church Commissioners have also been given the highest AAA rating in this year’s Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) Global Climate 500, coming 10th in the index. The rating recognises the work done by the Commissioners to mitigate the investment risks of climate change through engagement and shareholder resolutions, as well as the Commissioners’ support for low carbon investment. Continue reading