“many countries in Western Europe, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy, retain legislation on blasphemy, defamation of religion, or ‘anti-religious remarks’, though these laws are seldom enforced. In one promising development, Ireland’s coalition government announced in May 2016 its intention to hold a referendum on the removal of its blasphemy law” .
A week that saw everything from an important ruling on the scope of the Guidance on the Prevent Duty to mistaken identity in a Cardiff pub..
The Prevent Duty, under which “specified authorities” – includiing schools and colleges – must show “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, is somewhat controversial. Supporters insist that it is fundamentally about safeguarding students against all forms of extremism, while critics argue that Prevent predominantly targets – and stigmatises – Muslim communities. Continue reading →
The sexuality of cakes has become an issue yet again: this time in Dublin rather than Belfast. In May 2016, an unnamed man placed an order with a bakery in Dublin for a cake decorated with the (slightly garbled) words:
“BY THE GRACE OF THE GOOD LORD, I (name redacted), ORIGINALLY OF (address redacted) and c/o (other addresses redacted) that in my honest opinion – ‘GAY MARRIAGE’ IS A PERVERSION OF EQUALITY and the 34th Amendment to the Irish Constitution should be REPEALED.” Continue reading →
In Public Law for Everyone, Professor Mark Elliott’s post looks in some detail (albeit preliminarily) at how the EU (Withdrawal) Bill works, and comments on some of the key constitutional issues that it raises, here. As a taster (for both Brexiteers and Remainers), he concludes: Continue reading →
And in a week overshadowed by the horrendous fire at Grenfell Tower and the fallout from the General Election …
Access for Northern Ireland women to free abortion in England
On Thursday we posted Frank’s analysis of R (A and B) v Secretary of State for Health UKSC 41 in which the Supreme Court considered:
Was the Secretary of State ‘s failure to exercise his power to require abortion services to be provided through the NHS in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland unlawful as a failure to discharge his duty under s 3 of the National Health Service Act 2006 to “take such steps as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements” for services?
Does the continuing failure to provide free abortion services in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland infringe Articles 14 (discrimination) and 8 (private and family life) ECHR?
The appeal was dismissed by a 3-2 majority, and we suggested that it is quite possible that the case is bound for Strasbourg. Continue reading →
The UK finally struggled to the polls after what seemed an interminable campaign. After the Brexit referendum, every commentator seemed to be an expert on constitutional law; after Thursday’s vote, it’s now time for “hung parliament” expertise, to which we would look towards the Commons Library Briefings here. In brief:
“Hung Parliaments may result in formal coalition agreements, or government by a minority administration by way of a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement. If no party or group of parties is able to form a government, a further general election might be triggered under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. It is possible that over the lifetime of a Parliament, two or more of these options might occur”. Continue reading →