Law and religion round-up – 19th March

A week dominated by Brexit, ‘First Minister vs Prime Minister’ and the fall-out from the first judgments of the CJEU on religious manifestation… 


As expected, on Monday the Commons rejected the Lords amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, the Lords did not insist on their amendments and the bill passed. So after a total of 70 hours of debate, the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent on Thursday. The BBC reports that the Prime Minister is expected to wait until the end of the month formally to notify the EU of the UK’s intention to leave.

Meanwhile in Scotland… Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 12th February

Short form judgments, bats, child abduction and polygamy… 

Short form judgments

The Master of the Rolls has asked his colleagues in the Court of Appeal to issue shorter judgments where there are no issues of law or principle or of wider general significance and where all the relevant facts are set out in the judgment of the court below and are not disputed in the appeal. A Judicial Office spokesman said that in such cases:

“it may be possible to avoid reciting all the facts, the course of the proceedings and the judgments below, and proceed, after a brief introduction, to a statement of the decision on the principal arguments on the appeal and the outcome of the appeal.” Continue reading

More on legal developments in the US Muslim travel ban

On Thursday, in State of Washington v Trump No. 17-35105, three further (so-called) judges in the (so-called) US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the temporary restraining order issued by Robart J. They declined to grant an emergency stay of the proceedings on President Trump’s Executive Order imposing a travel ban on individuals from seven mainly Muslim countries and a moratorium on refugee admissions, concluding at [3] that

“the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay.”

Hawaii has now joined Washington and Minnesota in challenging the Executive Order.

USA Today suggests that the Executive has four options: Continue reading

US Court of Appeals upholds lower court ruling on Muslim visitor ban

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has declined to grant an emergency stay in the proceedings over President Trump’s Executive Order banning visitors to the US from seven mainly Muslim countries.

In State of Washington v Trump No. 17-35105 the Court concluded as follows: Continue reading

Religion and law round-up – 6th September

And it’s back to work…

… but for parliamentarians this will be tomorrow afternoon, when they return for a brief 10 days before the Party Conference season recess; both Houses return for the autumn sittings on 12 October. Nevertheless, there is a busy timetable, with important debates at both ends of the week: the report stage of the European Union Referendum Bill on Monday and the second reading of Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill on Friday.

Those engaging in the CofE and CofS initiative – the Reimagining Europe blog – will have an interest in the former, where the main area of contention is the restrictions placed on campaigning by the Government and the EU during the referendum. On the latter, the BBC’s Mark D’Arcy suggests that this “will be a classic private members’ bill tactical battle, with opponents seeking to talk the bill out, and supporters hoping to muster enough MPs to force a vote and get the bill through to detailed scrutiny in committee. No-one seems to have much idea how it will play out, because this is the first real test of the 2015 Commons on this kind of free vote issue”.

A lower profile item, but nevertheless one of interest to those within the CofE, will be the questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Caroline Spelman, on Thursday morning.

Pemberton v Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham

The Press Association reports that closing submissions were made last week in the Employment Tribunal case between Jeremy Pemberton, and Richard Inwood, the then Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, who refused him Permission to Officiate in the Diocese when he married his partner Laurence Cunnington in April 2014 – which meant that he could not take up the post that had been offered to hm by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust.

According to the PA report, Thomas Linden QC, representing the Church, argued that Pemberton had gone against the doctrine of the Church when he entered his same-sex marriage: Continue reading

Obergefell v Hodges: legal analyses

Legal analyses of the recent US judgment in Obergefell v Hodges on same-sex marriage

Our recent weekly round-up reported that last week, the US Supreme Court handed down judgment in Obergefell v Hodges 576 US ___ (2015), and by five votes to four, the Court held that the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment oblige all states to provide for same-sex marriage and to recognise same-sex marriages granted in other states. The majority conclusion was: Continue reading

Archbishop of Canterbury response to US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage

The Anglican Communion News Service, (ACNS), reports that Lambeth Palace has issued the following statement following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury today expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed. Continue reading