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Law and Religion


Author: Russell Sandberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Place: Cambridge
Pages: 220
ISBN: 9781107003798
Category: n\a


The worlds of law and religion increasingly collide in Parliament and the courtroom. Religious courts, the wearing of religious symbols and faith schools have given rise to increased legislation and litigation. This is the first student textbook to set out the fundamental principles and issues of law and religion in England and Wales. Offering a succinct exposition and critical analysis of the field, it explores how English law regulates the practice of religion. The textbook surveys law and religion from various perspectives, such as human rights and discrimination law, as well as considering the legal status of both religion and religious groups. Controversial and provocative questions are explored, promoting full engagement with the key debates. The book's explanatory approach and detailed references ensure understanding and encourage independent study. Students can track key developments on the book's updating website. This innovative text is essential reading for all students in the field.

Table of contents

Preface ix 
Table of cases xi 
1       What is ‘law and religion’? 1 
Introduction 1 
The growth of law and religion 2 
Defining law and religion 5 
The external and internal aspects of law and religion 5 
The inadequacy of other terms 7 
Religion law 10 
Religious law 12 
Conclusions 14 
2       Historical development 17 
Introduction 17 
The temporal–spiritual partnership 18 
The effect of the Norman Conquest 18 
The Courts Christian 20 
Discrimination and intolerance 23 
The English Church 24 
The disadvantaging of alternative religion 25 
Religious toleration 26 
The recognition of difference 27 
The effect upon the established Church 28 
Positive religious freedom 29 
Domestic developments 31 
International developments 33 
A positive right to religious freedom? 36 
Conclusions 37 
3       Legal definitions of religion 39 
Introduction 39 
Registration and charity law 39 
The five filters 40 
Towards a definition of religion 42 
The current position 45 
Human rights law 46 
The reluctance to define 47 
The scope of religious freedom provisions 49 
The definition of belief 50 
Discrimination law 53 
The original definition 53 
The revised definition 54 
The adoption of the human rights jurisprudence 55 
Conclusions 57 
4       The legal position of religious groups 59 
Introduction 59 
The Church of England 60 
The Church and the Monarch 61 
The Church and Parliament 61 
The Church and the courts 64 
The Church and public ministry 65 
Challenges to establishment 66 
A milder form of establishment: the Church of Scotland 70 
Non-established religious groups 72 
The doctrine of consensual compact 72 
The principle of non-interference 74 
The Forbes v. Eden exception  76 
Conclusions 77 
5       Religious freedom as a human right 81 
Introduction 81 
Article 9 of the ECHR 82 
Article 9(1): the question of interference 83 
The definition of belief filter 83 
The manifestation/motivation requirement 84 
The specific situation rule 84 
Article 9(2): the question of justification 86 
The rise of article 9 in domestic jurisprudence 87 
The House of Lords decision in Williamson 87 
Lower court decisions following Williamson 89 
The fall of article 9 in domestic jurisprudence 89 
The House of Lords decision in Begum 90 
Lower court decisions following Begum 92 
Exceptions to the rule 94 
The significance of Watkins-Singh 96 
Conclusions 98 
6       Discrimination on grounds of religion 100 
Introduction 100 
The legal framework 100 
The Equality Act 2010 101 
Defining religion or belief 102 
Victimisation and harassment 103 
Direct discrimination 104 
Making a prima facie case 105 
The focus upon the respondent 107 
A restrictive approach 108 
Indirect discrimination 108 
Successful claims concerning working hours 109 
Successful claims concerning religious dress 109 
Unsuccessful claims which failed on grounds of justification 110 
Unsuccessful claims which failed on grounds of interference 112 
The interaction with Article 9 114 
Religious exceptions 117 
Employment exceptions 119 
Goods and services exceptions 123 
Conclusions 128 
7       Religious offences 131 
Introduction 131 
The old religious offences 131 
The common law offence of blasphemy 133 
The road to abolition 135 
Jerry Springer: the court case  138 
The right to blaspheme 139 
The new religious offences 141 
Religious hatred 142 
Religiously aggravated offences 144 
Conclusions 147 
8       Religion in schools 150 
Introduction 150 
The school system 151 
Maintained schools 151 
Independent schools 152 
Schools without a religious character 153 
Religious education 154 
Religious worship 157 
A satisfactory compromise? 158 
Schools with a religious character 160 
State-maintained schools with a religious character 161 
Independent schools with a religious character 165 
Conclusions 166 
9       Religious law 169 
Introduction 169 
Defining religious law 170 
A purpose-based definition 172 
A source-based definition 174 
A subject-based definition 176 
A pedagogical definition 178 
Huxley's OWL 180 
The recognition of religious law 182 
Recognition as a matter of fact 183 
Recognition through state law 183 
Recognition by the Arbitration Act 1996 184 
Recognition through private international law 189 
Conclusions 189 
10      The clash of arms 191 
Introduction 191 
Emerging trends 193 
The juridification of religion 193 
The rise of religion law 195 
Pressure points 197 
The curse of Begum 198 
Judging religious doctrine 200 
The tension between the old and the new 202 
Conclusions 204 
Index 210