Law and religion round-up – 18th March

The Government’s Green Paper on integration, safeguarding in Chichester and Sweden, marriage, burial – and the living dead…

The Government’s Green Paper on integration

On Wednesday, the Government published its promised Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper triggering a consultation which will close on 5 June. We noted the proposals on religious weddings and sharia here; however, it also includes: Continue reading

Polygamy in Canada: “non-polygamy” in the US

We venture across the Atlantic only rarely, but two cases about polygamy have come to our attention – thanks to Donlu Thayer and Howard Friedman – that, coincidentally, are almost mirror-images.

In R v Blackmore 2017 BCSC 1288 (CanLII) in July 2017, the Supreme Court of British Columbia found Winston Blackmore and James Oler guilty of practising polygamy, contrary to s.293(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada, for which the maximum penalty is five years’ imprisonment. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 18th February

A week in which it appeared that some people seemed to think that attracting children into church was something to be discouraged…

HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London again

The Law Society Gazette reports that Jeremy Corbyn has entered the fray over the “cab-rank rule” adopted by HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, for processing deaths in her coronial district. According to the report, he and the Shadow Attorney, Emily Thornberry, have written to the Chief Coroner, HHJ Lucraft QC, to the effect that Ms Hassell’s approach is “unacceptable” and that grieving relatives are experiencing “unnecessary delays and barriers to laying loved ones to rest”. Continue reading

Article 10 ECHR and incitement of racial and religious hatred: Smajić

The background

In Smajić v Bosnia and Herzegovina [2018] ECHR (Application no. 48657/16), Mr Abedin Smajić, a lawyer, had been arrested on suspicion of inciting national, racial and religious hatred, discord or intolerance: he was charged, convicted and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment suspended for three years. The domestic court had found that between 3 January and 24 February 2010, under a pseudonym, he had made a number of posts on the Internet forum of a website called Bosnahistorija about the course of action to be undertaken by Bosniacs in the event of a war and the secession of Republika Srpska (one of the two constituent entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The following is a sample: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 11th February

A week in which General Synod welcomed plans for mutual recognition of ministries with the Methodist Church – and the Masons got their aprons in a twist…

Anglicans and Methodists

The Church of England General Synod has voted in favour of a motion welcoming the joint report, Mission and Ministry in Covenant, co-written by the two Churches’ faith and order bodies and published last year, which sets out proposals for intercommunion and the interchange of presbyteral ministries. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 21st January

The Irish Parliament wrestles with abortion law and, as the new Dean is installed at Peterborough, the Church of England wrestles with cathedral governance 

The Irish abortion debate

Last week, Dáil Éireann considered the report of its Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in light of the recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly than the constitutional ban on abortion should be repealed. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 24th December

And before you settle down to turkey, mince pies, crackers and possibly Mrs Brown’s Strictly Come Bake-off Yuletide Special, a bit of law… 

Undue spiritual influence again

Lutfur Rahman, a non-practising solicitor who had formerly been a partner at McCormacks Law, is the former Mayor of Tower Hamlets who In 2015 was found guilty by an election court of illegal and corrupt practices and barred from holding office for five years. We reported the case here because one of the issues in Erlam & Ors v Rahman & Anor [2015] EWHC (QB) 1215 was “undue spiritual influence”. Continue reading