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Law and Religion Scholars Network

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Case Database 2004

United Kingdom

LONDON ORATORY SCHOOL & ORS v THE SCHOOLS ADJUDICATOR [2004] EWHC 3014 (Admin) (17 December 2004): a ruling by the Schools Adjudicator that all references to interviewing applicants aged 11 and above should be deleted from the school’s Admission Arrangements was quashed: the Adjudicator had failed properly to consider the school’s case and to apply the Code of Practice under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 appropriately; moreover her appraisal of the school’s interview guidance notes had been Wednesbury unreasonable.

MONAGHAN v LEICESTER YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION [2004] Employment Tribunal Case no. 1901839/2004 (26 November 2004): giving a direction to an employee of a multiracial, multi-religious organisation (even one with a Christian ethos) that he should not attempt to convert clients to Christianity did not constitute direct discrimination contrary to the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN IRELAND v MINISTER FOR HEALTH, SOCIAL SERVICES AND PUBLIC SAFETY [2004] NICA 39 (08 October 2004): the Minister had failed to comply with Article 4 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 because he had neither enquired into the adequacy of termination of pregnancy services in Northern Ireland (including aftercare) nor issued guidance for health professionals involved termination of pregnancy services, those working for concerned organisations and women seeking termination.

KHAN v ROYAL AIR FORCE SUMMARY APPEAL COURT [2004] EWHC 2230 (Admin) (07 October 2004): Article 9 EHCR (thought, conscience and religion) did not provide a valid defence for a reservist recalled for service in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq who then went absent without leave and argued at the subsequent court-martial that he was a Muslim conscientious objector.

AMICUS MSF SECTION, R (ON THE APPLICATION OF) v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY [2004] EWHC 860 (Admin) (26 April 2004): the exceptions for occupational requirements, in particular those relating to employment for purposes of an organised religion under Regulation 7 of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 did not contravene either Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 (the Equal Treatment Directive) or Articles 8 (private and family life and 14 (discrimination) ECHR.

R v ANDREWS [2004] EWCA Crim 947 (5 March 2004): though it was conceded by the Crown that Rastafarianism was a religion, that in the instant case the cannabis that the appellant had imported had been for Rastafarian religious purposes and that the ECHR was engaged, the  limitations on cannabis supply imposed by the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 were ‘prescribed by law’ for the purposes of Article 9(2) (thought, conscience and religion): see also R v TAYLOR [2001] EWCA Crim 2263 (23 October 2001) and R v LAMBERT [2001] UKHL 37 (5 July 2001).

HAMMOND v DPP [2004] EWHC 69 (Admin)  (31 January 2004): a sign bearing the words ‘Stop Immorality’, ‘Stop Homosexuality’ and ‘Stop Lesbianism’ contravened the Public Order Act 1986 in that it was a ‘writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting’ contrary to section 5 (now s 4A(1)(b)): dismissing an appeal by way of case stated, the Divisional Court held that the Justices had found as a matter of fact that the words were insulting by relating homosexuality and lesbianism to immorality and that when reaching the conclusion that the complainant’s conduct was unreasonable they had taken into account Articles 9 and 10 ECHR (freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of expression).

REPRESENTATIVE BODY OF THE CHURCH OF IRELAND v FRAZER [2004] Employment Tribunal PW 27/2004: there was no contract of employment between a Church of Ireland curate and the Representative Body because there was no intention to create legal relations – the duties of the respondent were grounded in conscience only: 155 (2005) L&J  144.

RE S (SPECIFIC ISSUE ORDER: RELIGION: CIRCUMCISION) [2004] EWHC 1282 (Fam) a Muslim woman separated from her Jain husband was not permitted to convert her two children to Islam because in the opinion of the Court they should be allowed choose their own religion, if any, when old enough to do so: moreover, it was not in the male child’s best interests to be circumcised.


SUPREME HOLY COUNCIL OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY v BULGARIA [2004] ECtHR (No. 39023/97) (16 December 2004): attempts by the Government to engineer the unification of two rival groups claiming leadership of the Muslim community in Bulgaria (including the appointment by the Government of an interim governing body for the Muslim community and a declaration that the election of the Chief Mufti was null and void) had violated Article 9 ECHR (thought, conscience and religion): for a case on similar facts see HASAN AND CHAUSH v BULGARIA [2000] ECtHR (No. 30985/96) (26 October 2000)

VO v FRANCE [2004] ECtHR (GC) (No. 53924/00) (8 July 2004) where a medical accident had resulted in the involuntary termination of her pregnancy and the applicant complained that the criminal law had breached Article 2 ECHR (right to life) in failing to protect her foetus by not allowing the offence of unintentional homicide to cover injury to an unborn child, the Court concluded that ‘it is neither desirable, nor even possible as matters stand, to answer in the abstract the question whether the unborn child is a person for the purposes of Article 2’ (para 85).

VERGOS v GREECE [2004] ECtHR (No. 65501/01) (24 June 2004) [French text only]: refusal by the District Council to grant an isolated member of a religious community known as the ‘True Orthodox Christians’ planning permission to construct a prayer-house had not violated Article 9 ECHR (thought, conscience and religion): though it interfered with his right to manifest, that interference was prescribed by law and pursued the legitimate aim of protecting public order and the rights and freedoms of others: moreover,  the public interest could not be overridden by a single adherent’s need to worship when there was a prayer-house in a neighbouring town which met his needs (however,  the excessive length of the proceedings had violated the ‘reasonable time’ requirement in Article 6 § 1 (fair hearing)).

MAESTRI v ITALY [2004] ECtHR (No. 39748/98) (17 February 2004): disciplinary proceedings against the acting president of a District Court for having been a member of a Masonic lodge affiliated to the Grande Oriente d'Italia di Palazzo Giustiniani from 1981 until March 1993 breached Article 11 ECHR (peaceful assembly and association) since, in view of the lack of clarity in the relevant directive, the interference had not been ‘prescribed by law’: it was not necessary to examine the issue in relation to Articles 9 (thought, conscience and religion) and 10 (expression): for an earlier case on similar facts, see N F v ITALY [2001] (2 August 2001) (No. 37119/97).

LARSN Case Database

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