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Law and Religion Scholars Network

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Case Database 2002

This list includes significant judgments delivered in 2002.

United Kingdom

ULLAH v SPECIAL ADJUDICATOR [2002] EWCA Civ 1856 (16 December 2002): the decision to remove an asylum-seeker to a country that did not respect rights under Article 9 ECHR (thought, conscience and religion)  would not infringe the Human Rights Act 1998 where the nature of the interference with the right to manifest that was anticipated in the receiving state fell short of ill-treatment in violation of Article 3 (inhuman or degrading treatment).

I v UNITED KINGDOM [2002] ECtHR [GC] (No. 25680/94) (11 July 2002): the absence in the United Kingdom of any legal recognition of the post-operative sex of transsexuals violated ECHR Articles 8 (private and family life) and 12 (marriage): no separate issue arose under Article 14 (discrimination).

K, R (ON THE APPLICATION OF) v LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM [2002] EWHC 405 (Admin) (19 February 2002): in allocating secondary-school places, a local education authority was obliged to give due weight to the parents’ Islamic religious convictions about the desirability of single-sex schooling for their daughter, in accordance with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 ECHR (education).

SULAIMAN v JUFFALI [2002] 1 FLR 479, [2002] 2 FCR 427: upon the breakdown of the marriage of a Muslim couple with Saudi Arabian nationality and domicile who had been married there, the husband pronounced talaq in England and registered this with the sharia court in Saudi and the wife petitioned for  a civil divorce in England: Munby J refused to acknowledge the effect of the talaq,  since divorces obtained otherwise than by proceedings in a court of civil jurisdiction were not to be recognised and that applied to all informal divorces, irrespective of the nature of the parties’ religious or other beliefs.

McR, RE AN APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW [2002] NIQB 58 (15 January 2002): the offence of attempted heterosexual buggery under section 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (which continued to apply in Northern Ireland) was in breach of Article 8 ECHR (private and family life) inasmuch as it interfered with consensual sexual behaviour between individuals: a declaration of incompatibility was made accordingly and, as a result, section 62 was repealed in Northern Ireland as from 1 May 2004 by virtue of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

RE C (ADOPTION: RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE) [2002] 1 FLR 1119: where a Local Authority sought to place a girl of almost three with prospective adopters with a fairly strong Jewish identity but a relatively low level of observance, the Guardian argued that since her only connexion with Judaism was a mother who was Jewish by birth, a Jewish couple were unsuitable adopters and her mixed heritage required placement in a religiously-neutral environment: the court found the Guardian’s use of judicial review misguided – the proper forum in which to challenge the plan was the care proceedings.


CHRISTINE GOODWIN v UNITED KINGDOM [2002] ECtHR (GC)(No. 28957/95) (11 July 2002): the absence of any system within the United Kingdom for legal recognition of a transsexual’s gender change breached of Articles 8 (private and family life) and 12 (marriage) ECHR: there were ‘no significant factors of public interest to weigh against the interest of this individual applicant in obtaining legal recognition of her gender re-assignment’ and ‘the fair balance that is inherent in the Convention now tilts decisively in favour of the applicant’: however, there had been no violation of Article 13 (effective remedy) and no separate issue arose under Article 14 (discrimination).

PRETTY v UNITED KINGDOM [2002] ECtHR (No. 2346/02) (29 April 2002): the Court rejected the contention of the applicant, who was dying from motor neurone disease, that the absence of a legal mechanism under which she could choose to end her life was the corollary of the right to life under Article 2 ECHR and that there was a positive obligation on the state to provide a scheme in domestic law to enable her to exercise that right: Article 2 could not, without a distortion of language, be interpreted as conferring the right to die nor could it create a right to self-determination in the sense of conferring on an individual the entitlement to choose death rather than life: however, though the Court concluded that there had been no violation of her Convention rights, it was ‘not prepared to exclude that this constitutes an interference with her right to respect for private life as guaranteed under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention’: see also PRETTY (R, ON THE APPLICATION OF) v DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS & SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT [2001] UKHL 61 (29 November 2001).

LARSN Case Database

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