Blog

Lessons from Sir Henry Brooke: Making Rights Real (II)

Jonathan Cooper - 1st March 2019

In my last post, I argued that the judgment in Gareth Lee v Ashers Bakery is the consequence of the failure to follow a structured human rights assessment. This is why. Gareth Lee is gay and lives in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland denies gay men and lesbians the right to marry. Gareth went to a […]

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Lessons from Sir Henry Brooke: Making Rights Real (I)

Jonathan Cooper - 1st March 2019

What if? What if the UK House of Lords (as the UK Supreme Court then was) had left the judgment of Lord Justice Brooke in Begum in the Court of Appeal intact? Brooke LJ in that case held that the school uniform policy of Denbigh High School was unlawful under the Human Rights Act because, […]

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Indian Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Women’s Entry into Religious Temple

Raja Dandamudi - 11th October 2018

Recently, a (4:1) majority of a five-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court in Indian Lawyers Association v. State of Kerala upheld the right of women to worship in the famous Sabarimala temple, irrespective of their age. This judgement struck down a rule which banned the entry of women between the ages 10 to 50 years into the temple. The judgment has thereby sounded the death […]

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Religious symbols in schools: Passive and harmless or a powerful threat?

Olivia Rani Bessant - 9th October 2018

In Lautsi v Italy (2012), the applicant argued that the presence of crucifixes in state school classrooms violated students’ Article 9 ECHR right to religious freedom, but the ECtHR deemed the cross a ‘passive symbol’ and Article 9 respected. Yet in Dahlab v Switzerland (2001),an earlier case the applicant cited, banning a teacher from wearing her hijab […]

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HM Chief Inspector v Interim Executive of Al-Hijrah School: Religious Conviction is Not a Solvent of Legal Obligation

John Bowers QC - 3rd July 2018

The most interesting feature of the case of HM Chief Inspector v Interim  Executive of Al Hijrah School [2018] IRLR 334 is the split between the reasoning of the majority (Etherton MR and Beatson LJ) and minority (Gloster LJ) in the Court of Appeal. Although they agreed in the result (that there was unlawful discrimination […]

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The Legality of Unilateral Child Conversion in Malaysia

Kamilia Khairul Anuar - 16th March 2018

For Indira Gandhi, whose husband converted to Islam and attempted to unilaterally convert their daughter as well, a long legal battle came to an end when the Malaysian Federal Court handed down its judgment, declaring that the conversion had not followed proper administrative procedures and was therefore legally invalid. Being a Muslim is a legal […]

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Argentine Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Religion Classes in Public Schools

Sergio Giuliano - 29th January 2018

In the recent case “Castillo c. Provincia de Salta”, the Argentine Supreme Court declared the unconstitutionality of a provincial norm that imposed religious education in public schools during school hours. The Court held that, while facially neutral and while allowing the possibility of parents to opt their children out of the classes, the norm violated […]

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Triple Talaq and Women’s Rights in the Indian Supreme Court

Bhagirath Ashiya - 13th October 2017

The Indian Supreme Court’s multi-religious Constitutional bench, in its much anticipated majority decision in the Shayara Bano case, has ruled the practice of triple talaq to be unconstitutional. The practice of triple talaq allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife instantaneously by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ three times. This resulted in numerous social media […]

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The Case For Recognition Of Muslim Marriages In South Africa

Shreya Munoth - 12th October 2017

The South African Constitution guarantees all of its citizens the right to equality, dignity, freedom of religion and belief as well as the right to protection against arbitrary deprivation of property. Surprisingly, however, despite these guarantees, Muslim marriages, i.e. monogamous and polygamous marriages that are conducted in accordance with Islamic rites/the Shari’ah, are not legally […]

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Niqabs in Strasbourg, Again: Part 2

Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez - 27th September 2017

In a blog post yesterday, I considered the impact which the recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Dakir v. Belgium and Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium might have on the Court’s conception of “living together”. Today, I will consider the concerns these judgments raise for the Court’s jurisprudence on indirect discrimination […]

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Niqabs in Strasbourg, Again: Part 1

Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez - 26th September 2017

Burqa bans seem to be in fashion, not only in the 5-odd countries that have chosen this policy line, not only at the European People’s Party within the European Parliament, but at the European Court of Human Rights as well. Only three years after its Grand Chamber ruling upholding the French legislative ban of 2010 […]

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