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

Law and religion round-up – 10th September

End of “silly season” brings news from around the UK, and a new motu proprio 

Hijabs in primary schools

There were various reports (eg in The Sunday Times and the Evening Standard) that “Children as young as three are being allowed to wear the hijab in British nurseries and primary schools.” The ST reported that its survey found that a fifth of 800 primary schools, including Church of England schools, list the hijab as part of their uniform. “Campaigners” objected, Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 3rd September

A busy week on the blog, but nevertheless, a very mixed bag of issues…

…and whilst those concerning the Psychoactive Substances Act have become more important, they are of peripheral interest to L&RUK. We have also refrained from commenting on events surrounding  St. Sepulchre Without Newgate, Holborn (a.k.a. “the Musicians’ Church”), and likewise on yesterday’s story in the Daily TelegraphVictorian Society criticises evangelical group for keeping churches ‘shuttered and barred’“, which appears to escalate the situation.

Brexit documents

The Jack of Kent blog, written by the indefatigable David Allen Green, has posted an extremely helpful Brexit negotiations resource page, covering links and materials relevant to the current Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Commission (on behalf of the EU) and restricted almost entirely to official documents. The links and materials are set out as follows: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 27th August

“The (Great) Clock hath ceased to sound, The long day closes”

Henry Fothergill Chorley & Arthur Sullivan, (1868)

… but midday on 21st August had nothing to do with Brexit – or ecclesiastical law for that matter – unless it provides a segue into a reprise of one of our posts on bells, the closure of the Whitechapel bell foundry, or recent events at York Minster; Sullivan’s part-song The Long Day Closes had a degree of popularity at events of mourning, and was often sung at funerals of members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. However, Frank’s And finally, below, places Monday’s media and political nonsense into context.

Brexit and the UK courts

On Wednesday, the Government published its position paper on post-Brexit relations between the UK and the Court of Justice of the European Union: we noted it briefly here.  The pledge to bring an end to “the direct jurisdiction of the Court” led critics to argue that the inclusion of the word “direct” leaves room for the CJEU to continue to influence UK jurisprudence. Tobias Lock has posted a helpful preliminary analysis on Verfassungsblog. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 23rd July

The week’s news seems to underline the wisdom of the injunction in the Persil advert: Always Keep Away From Children

The Supreme Court

First, though, the big news of the week: Baroness Hale of Richmond will succeed Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as President of the UK Supreme Court on 2 October. Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Briggs will all join the Supreme Court as Justices on the same day.

Sexual orientation and “British Values”

An Orthodox Jewish school in Hackney has failed its third Ofsted inspection because it did not teach its pupils about sexual orientation. The inspectors reported that the pupils at Vishnitz Girls School, who range in age from three to eight,

“are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation. This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles. As a result, pupils are not able to gain a full understanding of fundamental British values.” 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

Living next to a cemetery: Tonyuk

In Tonyuk v Ukraine [2017] ECHR 492 the applicant, Yustyna Tonyuk, a Ukrainian national born in 1941 and living in Yaremche, in the Ivano-Frankivsk Region, complained about the existence and use of a cemetery that had been created adjacent to her home. Ms Tonyuk had obtained two judgments from the national courts banning the use of the cemetery for future burials on the ground that its proximity to her home was in breach of the applicable sanitary standards. Her house was some ten metres from the cemetery boundary, her yard was separated from the cemetery by a wire mesh fence and the nearest row of graves was about a metre from the fence (some eleven metres from her house) and clearly visible from her yard [7]. Continue reading