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 – 12th March

Social media (mis)use in the news, hate-speech – and another round in the saga of The Donald’s Executive Order…

News from Trumpton

Obiter J reports that legal action has been commenced against President Trump’s new Executive Order of 7 March on the entry of certain aliens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The new Order will replace EO 13769 on 16 March. The case is State of Hawai’i and Ismail Elshikh v Donald J Trump & Ors: Mr Elshikh is Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawai’i. It will be heard in the US District Court for the District of Hawai’i: the State’s Second Amended Complaint, seeking an Order invalidating portions of the Executive Order, is available here.

The Wall Street Journal subsequently reported that the Attorneys General of the States of Washington and New York had announced that they, too, will challenge it. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is to ask US District Judge Robart to apply his temporary restraining order to the new Order. According to a subsequent report, Oregon and Minnesota will also join the suit when an amended complaint is filed.

Brexit Bill returns to Commons Continue reading

Church liability: fall from ladder

Health and Safety lessons from recent judgment

On 3 March 2017, the Court of Appeal (Civil) Division handed down the judgment in Casson v Hudson & Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 125 in relation to a claim for damages following a fall from a ladder during the painting of a church hall. The case highlights the potential liabilities faced by incumbents and PCCs in relation to persons undertaking work on premises for which they are responsible. Continue reading

Recruitment of Head of Bell Tower – York Minster

“No ring of bells to our ears sounds”

“The ring of 12 bells in York Minster are widely regarded by experienced change ringers as some of the best sounding bells in the country”. However, they have only been heard on a couple of occasions since the axing of all 30 volunteer ringers in October 2016. The Minster is now inviting experienced bell ringers to apply for the role of Head of Bell Tower. Continue reading

Should yoga instructors have formal qualifications?

There are currently no official qualifications required to become a yoga instructor in the UK and there is a debate about whether or not regulation is needed to protect the public from incompetent teachers. The sector skills council for active leisure, learning and wellbeing, SkillsActive, is consulting over the next twelve months about creating a national occupational standard (NOS) to set a sector-wide minimum for yoga teaching in the UK. Continue reading

Volunteers, Safeguarding and the CofE

Some of the broader issues raised by the sacking of York Minster bell ringers

The recent Statement by the Dean and Chapter of York concerning the Minster’s volunteer bell ringers was apparently triggered by concerns relating primarily to safeguarding, health and safety, and other issues. The circumstances in York are a matter for local resolution, and no further comment is necessary. york-minster-img_4461-3However, this has highlighted the necessity for PCCs and cathedral authorities to ensure that adequate measures are in place for the activities of volunteers for any place of worship, regardless of its size or perceived importance. Volunteers are used for a wide range of activities, some of which are described on the York Minster web pages. This post is not intended to provide guidance on the specialist area of bellringing, which is outwith our own expertise, but draws upon this as an example of the issues to be addressed in the organization of volunteer groups. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 1st May

As you enjoy your May Morning champagne breakfast, or engage in a little barley-break, here is a round-up of last week’s news …

… however, there was relatively little law and religion news this week, although at L&RUK we had record daily (and monthly) readership.

Brexit and the ECHR

Last week, Theresa May’s speech on the desirability of withdrawing from the ECHR while remaining a member of the EU set the hares running (or perhaps in her case, a cat): we posted about it here. The Law Society Gazette subsequently reported that ministers at the MoJ are “clear” that the UK will remain a signatory of the ECHR. We wonder whether we’re beginning to lose the plot or whether, perhaps, there’s no longer any plot to lose: however, for a considered analysis, see Mark Elliott’s article in Public Law for EveryoneTheresa May’s case for withdrawal from the ECHR: Politically astute, legally dubious, constitutionally naïve.

Same-sex marriage in the Isle of Man

On Tuesday, the Isle of Man’s Legislative Council (the Upper House of Tynwaldapproved the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill by six votes to three. Continue reading