Why the constitutional treatment of religion in Great Britain matters in religious disputes

In this guest post, cross-posted with permission from the UK Constitutional Law blog, Javier García Oliva looks at the wider constitutional implications of two recent cases involving children and religion.

Two high-profile cases concerning the approach of public authorities towards religion and identity, where the care and future of looked after children were concerned, have featured this summer.

Firstly, a Sikh couple were denied the opportunity to adopt a white baby by Adopt Berkshire, the Windsor and Maidenhead council-run adoption agency, and despite considerable political pressure and the intervention of the EHRC, the local authority refused to alter its position, Continue reading

An (ecclesiastical) law glossary

The Prayer Book Society (PBS) has announced that first-year students in theological colleges across the country are to receive a brand new glossary to assist their understanding of The Book of Common Prayer which is handed to them by the PBS at the start of their studies.  Continue reading

Soccer, Sectarianism and Scots criminal law

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee is currently taking evidence on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill: a Member’s bill introduced by James Kelly MSP on 21 June. The Bill, if enacted, would repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

The Act is aimed at offensive sectarian behaviour at and in the context of professional association football matches. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 9th July

Cake now off the Brexit menu…

…though not in the House of Lords for Pride 2017…

…but gluten-free is off the menu at Mass

Yesterday the BBC reported that the Vatican had ruled that the bread used in celebrations of the Eucharist must not be gluten-free. Continue reading

Church leaders’ statement in advance of the General Election

Leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have issued the following statement in advance of the General Election:

“As we prepare for the General Election, we recognise that Christians across our nations will prayerfully vote for a variety of parties and candidates in good conscience. We celebrate the fact that Christian people are inspired by their faith to debate passionately – and to disagree well – on how the United Kingdom should be governed at this present moment. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 28th May

A very, very sad week – and not one for flippant straplines…

The atrocity in Manchester

The appalling news from Manchester is beyond words. How society might react to it, however, is a legitimate matter for concern: there have already been calls in the social media for mass internments (of whom, precisely?) – and worse. Possibly one of the most measured reactions on Twitter was from Adam Wagner:

“1/ A few thoughts on the horrendous terror attack on my brilliant home town of .

2/ Terrorism isn’t just senseless violence. It has a purpose, which is to terrorise us. We, the public who watch in terror, are victims too.

3/ It’s totally natural to respond to terror with fear, anger, sometimes even a need for revenge; an ‘eye for an eye’. That’s what they want.

4/ The very best human societies are open, tolerant, multicultural. Terrorism makes us close up, retreat into our safe, small groups.

5/ In times of fear and retreat we must trust the rule-based system we build in better times. It’s insurance against our worst natures.”

Church of Scotland on same-sex marriage

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has agreed in principle to the report of its Theological Commission, An Approach to the Theology of Same-Sex Marriage. Continue reading

Church of Scotland votes on same-sex marriage: updated and corrected

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has agreed in principle to the report of its Theological Forum, An Approach to the Theology of Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Kirk’s press release, in presenting the report the Forum’s convener, the Very Revd Professor Iain Torrance, said that he and his colleagues could see “no sufficient theological reason for the Church not to authorise specific ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings”, adding that this would be possible “if doing so does not prejudice the position of those who decline to do so for reasons of conscience”.

The Deliverance of the General Assembly is as follows: Continue reading