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Law & Religion UK is intended as a forum for what (we hope) is academically-rigorous exploration of the interactions between law and religion – broadly defined – together with the human rights issues associated with them. We are always interested in guest posts from colleagues in the field of law and religion.

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Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington

Another Romanian church property dispute: Orăştie

Yet another property dispute between the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church.

In Orăştie Romanian Greek Catholic Archpriesthood United to Rome and Orăştie Romanian Greek Catholic Parish United to Rome v Romania [2017] ECHR 913 [in French], the applicants sought the restitution of their church, which had been expropriated by the Communist regime and handed over to the Orthodox in 1948. They were unsuccessful before the domestic courts [7-17], the High Court of Cassation and Justice noting that 90.71% of the population of Orăştie was Orthodox and 1.02% Greek-Catholic [16]. Continue reading

Conscientious objection again: Adyan v Armenia

In Adyan and Ors v Armenia [2017] ECHR 882, four Jehovah’s Witnesses had been convicted and imprisoned for refusing to perform either military or alternative civilian service.

Background

In May and June 2011 they were called up for military service but refused to appear either for military or for alternative civilian service under the terms of the Alternative Service Act, declaring their opposition based on their religious beliefs. Furthermore, even though domestic law provided for alternative service, they claimed that it was not of a genuinely civilian nature because it was supervised by the military. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 15th October

Sero sed serio…

… as until Friday, we thought it was going to be a quiet week for news, despite the MPs’ return to Parliament after the break for Party Conferences. In addition to our Saturday posts on Sex segregation in school, and the disposal of Ian Brady’s remains, reviewed below, shortly after the publication of this round-up, the Church of England issued a statement concerning the meditation that had taken place with the sexual abuse survivor known as “Gilo”; this prompted a response from Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc.

Sex segregation in school

On Friday, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services And Skills v The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School [2017] EWCA Civ 1426. The issue of principle before the Court was

“whether it is direct discrimination, contrary to sections 13 and 85 of the Equality Act 2010 for a mixed-sex school to have a complete segregation of male and female pupils over a certain age for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips” [1]. Continue reading

Judge determines Ian Brady’s funeral arrangements

On 13 October, the High Court handed down the judgment Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council & Ors v Robin Makin & Ors [2017] EWHC Case No: HC-2017-002064 (Ch). The Court also provided a Summary “to assist in understanding the Court’s decision. It does not form part of the reasons for the decision. The full judgment of the Court is the only authoritative document”.

The following extracts are from the Court’s summary, and a fuller consideration will be given in a later post.  Continue reading