religion

Even in a niqab, the defendant must be heard

September 19, 2013

I’m no friend of the niqab. It’s the symbol of an oppressive ideology, and I look forward to its disappearance from the streets of Britain (which I think likely in my lifetime) and everywhere. I doubt a total ban’s a good idea here, but I support the right of employers and schools to prevent their […]

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The niqab ruling: my detailed comments

September 19, 2013

Here’s Monday’s ruling by His Honour Judge Peter Murphy, that a female Muslim defendant at Blackfriars Crown Court may not give evidence wearing a niqab, or face veil. If you click on the highlighted phrases in the document, either in the viewer below or in fullscreen view (click on the bottom left of the viewer) you’ll […]

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Strasbourg judgment: Eweida and others v UK

January 15, 2013

Nadia Eweida has succeeded in her claim that the UK breached her right to manifest her religion under article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Readers may remember that she worked for British Airways, and refused to abide by its uniform policy, insisting on wearing a cross visible to customers. By a majority of […]

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Family arbitration needs a clear legal framework

February 23, 2012

I’ve written a piece for the Guardian Law website today, about yesterday’s launch, by the new Institute of Family Law Arbitrators, of a scheme of binding family law arbitration. The scheme itself doesn’t worry me: I’m sure the IFLA’s arbitrators are all more than competent family lawyers who’ll do a good job. I am a […]

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EHRC observations in Strasbourg “religitigation” cases

September 28, 2011

A few weeks ago Adam Wagner at the UK Human Rights Blog told us the ECHR had changed the stance it took in July on a series of religious discrimination claims currently being pursued in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Those claims include the case of Nadia Eweida, who wanted by BA […]

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France, the veil and freedom of religion

July 9, 2010

This week the French National Assembly has finally been debating the government’s proposed legislation banning the wearing of the “full face veil” – the niqab, burka or any other piece of clothing that hides the face. I wrote in January about the plans of Jean-François Copé and of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Well, in May the […]

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Short shrift for Lord Carey

April 30, 2010

Lord Carey’s complaints about secularist oppression of Christians and call for “faith-sensitive” judges have received an unusually direct response from Laws LJ in his Court of Appeal ruling refusing permission to appeal in McFarlane v Relate Avon, the unfair dismissal and religious discrimination claim that Lord Carey had supported: The general law may of course […]

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Arresting the Pope: a Catholic response

April 19, 2010

I’m interested in the response by the Catholic Union to the recent suggestion that the Pope should be arrested and held legally liable for his alleged failure to tackle the sexual abuse of children. The full pdf file of the press release outlining their response is here. To say, as they do, that There is […]

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Lord Carey and “religion-sensitive” judges

April 19, 2010

I agree entirely with Afua Hirsch’s piece in the Guardian today – at least on religitigation, Lord Carey and his call for “religion-sensitive” judges. She’s right: to create a panel of specially faith-sensitive judges would be a wholly retrograde step and needs to be opposed. If a judge gets the law wrong, you can appeal […]

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Charon QC podcast: arresting the Pope, is legislation invalid, and a hung Parliament – who gets to be PM?

April 16, 2010

Charon QC interviewed me this afternoon as part of his “20 minutes” series of podcasts. First we spoke about arresting the Pope following my post earlier today. The we moved on briefly to discuss the former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote’s idea that all legislation since 2000 is “invalid“, before finishing with a discussion of who […]

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