Ecclesiastical Law in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Percy v Church of Scotland Board of National Mission
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Dic 2005

    He said that special features surrounding the appointment and removal of a Church of England priest as an assistant curate, and surrounding the source and scope of his duties, preclude the creation of a contract 'unless a clear intention to the contrary is expressed': page 147. He then considered and rejected one by one the possible candidates for the role of employer in that case.

    The distinction in law between an employee, who enters into a contract with an employer, and an office-holder, who has no employer but holds his position subject to rules dealing with such matters as his duties, the term of his office, the circumstances in which he may be removed and his entitlement to remuneration, is well established and understood. One of the oldest offices known to the law is that of constable.

  • Diocese of Southwark and Others v Coker
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 11 Jul 1997

    The critical point in this case is that an assistant curate is an ordained priest. The legal effect of the ordination of a person admitted to the order of priesthood is that he is called to an office, recognised by law and charged with functions designated by law in the Ordinal, as set out in the Book of Common Prayer. The Ordinal governs the form and manner for ordaining priests according to the Order of the Church of England.

    The legal implications of the appointment of an assistant curate must be considered in the context of that historic and special pre-existing legal framework of a church, and an ecclesiastical hierarchy established by law, of spiritual duties defined by public law rather than by private contract, and of ecclesiastical courts with jurisdiction over the discipline of clergy.

  • Davies v Presbyterian Church of Wales
    • House of Lords
    • 06 Mar 1986

    My Lords, it is possible for a man to be employed as a servant or as an independent contractor to carry out duties which are exclusively spiritual. He does not devote his working life but his whole life to the church and his religion. The law will ensure that a pastor is not deprived of his salaried pastorate save in accordance with the provisions of the book of rules but an industrial tribunal cannot determine whether a reasonable church would sever the link between minister and congregation.

  • Various Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 Nov 2012

    The relationship that gives rise to vicarious liability is in the vast majority of cases that of employer and employee under a contract of employment. The employer will be vicariously liable when the employee commits a tort in the course of his employment. There is no difficulty in identifying a number of policy reasons that usually make it fair, just and reasonable to impose vicarious liability on the employer when these criteria are satisfied:

  • Preston (formerly Moore) v President of the Methodist Conference
    • Supreme Court
    • 15 May 2013

    The primary considerations are the manner in which the minister was engaged, and the character of the rules or terms governing his or her service. But, as with all exercises in contractual construction, these documents and any other admissible evidence on the parties' intentions fall to be construed against their factual background. Part of that background is the fundamentally spiritual purpose of the functions of a minister of religion.

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  • Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ...... . . (b) subordinate legislation (whenever made) made under a Measure or Canon of the Church of England, or. . . (c) other ecclesiastical law (whether or not contained in England and Wales legislation, and, if contained in England and Wales legislation, whenever passed or made). . (7) ......
  • Irish Church Act 1869
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1869
    ...... at the disposal of Parliament her interest in the several archbishoprics, bishoprics, benefices, cathedral preferments, and other ecclesiastical dignities and offices in Ireland. . Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords ......
  • Welsh Church Act 1914
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1914
    ...... the passing of this Act, be appointed or nominated by His Majesty or any person, by virtue of any existing right of patronage, to any ecclesiastical office in the Church in Wales. S-2 . Ecclesiastical corporations and bishops. 2 Ecclesiastical corporations and bishops. . (1) On the date of ......
  • Statute Law (Repeals) Measure 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2018
    ......1 . A Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England to repeal certain enactments of ecclesiastical law which (except in so far as their effect is preserved) are no longer of practical utility. . [10 May 2018] . . S-1 . Repeals 1 Repeals . . ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Reviews
    • Núm. 43-1, Enero 1980
    • The Modern Law Review
    Law and Politics. The House of Lords as a Judicial Body 1800–1976. By Robert Stevens The Darker Reaches of Government. By Anthony Mathews Television, Censorship and the Law. By Colin R. Munro. The ...
    ...... HALSBURY'S LAWS OF ENGLAND : ECCLESIASTICAL LAW; GENERAL IT is not often that a volume of Halsbury's Laws of England receives a review. That is a pity, because Halsbury ......
  • Void and Voidable Marriages
    • Núm. 27-4, Julio 1964
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... to be of a spiritual nature and a sacrament, was regulated by canon law which was administered by the ecclesiastical courts. By canon law a marriage was either valid and unimpeachable or else void ab initio,I and the concept of a ......
  • Reports of Committees
    • Núm. 18-2, Marzo 1955
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... REPORTS OF ,COMMITTEES PROPOSED REFORM OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS MANY lawyers would appear to be of the opinion that the church courts ceased to function altogether when ......
    • Núm. 23-2, Marzo 1960
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... in fact decided that he could hear the petition because it had once been the practice of the ecclesiastical courts to assume jurisdiction over marriages celebrated in England. The reference to the ecclesiastical courts and the ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Impacts Of A Disused Burial Ground On Development
    • Mondaq UK
    ......The site, therefore, was subject to Ecclesiastical Law as well as the laws of England. Notwithstanding that the works proposed in this case were most unlikely to disturb human remains, the grant of ......
  • Real Estate Tip Of The Week - A Grave Matter
    • Mondaq UK
    ......Where remains are found on land which has been consecrated by the Church of England, their treatment is subject to ecclesiastical law and falls within the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court, otherwise secular controls apply to non-consecrated land. In relation to ......
  • The Bones Of Richard III
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... It is in any case a common law offence to disinter a dead body without lawful authority and it is an offence against ecclesiastical law to remove the remains of the dead from consecrated ground without a faculty. The Leicester Greyfriars Church was undoubtedly consecrated at the ......
  • Technical Corner - Will Specialty Debts Become Less Special?
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ......This is based on a common law principle originally established in the ecclesiastical courts that debts created under seal are capable of independent existence. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shared this view of debts made by deed until ......
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