Religion and Faith in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R (Williamson) v Secretary of State for Education & Employment
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Feb 2005

    But, emphatically, it is not for the court to embark on an inquiry into the asserted belief and judge its 'validity' by some objective standard such as the source material upon which the claimant founds his belief or the orthodox teaching of the religion in question or the extent to which the claimant's belief conforms to or differs from the views of others professing the same religion.

    The belief must be consistent with basic standards of human dignity or integrity. It must possess an adequate degree of seriousness and importance. Overall, these threshold requirements should not be set at a level which would deprive minority beliefs of the protection they are intended to have under the Convention: see Arden LJ [2003] QB 1300, 1371, para 258.

  • R (Begum) v Governors of Denbigh High School
    • Court of Appeal
    • 02 Mar 2005

    I turn now to the third question. For the purposes of this case, SB's freedom to manifest her religion or beliefs may only be subject to limitations that are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

  • R (Williamson) v Secretary of State for Education & Employment
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 15 Nov 2001

    (ii) Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

  • R (Begum) v Governors of Denbigh High School
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 15 Jun 2004

    The evidence adduced on behalf of the Defendant, which I have set out above extensively, clearly establishes that the school uniform policy promotes a positive ethos and a sense of communal identity. Furthermore, it is clear from the evidence that there are a not insignificant number of Muslim female pupils at Denbigh High School who do not wish to wear the jilbab and either do, or will, feel pressure on them either from inside or outside the school.

  • R (Begum) v Governors of Denbigh High School
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Mar 2006

    The Strasbourg institutions have not been at all ready to find an interference with the right to manifest religious belief in practice or observance where a person has voluntarily accepted an employment or role which does not accommodate that practice or observance and there are other means open to the person to practise or observe his or her religion without undue hardship or inconvenience. The Commission found (p 109) no interference with her article 9 right because (p 108)

    I accept that wearing a jilbab to a mixed school was, for her, a manifestation of her religion. But her right was not in my opinion infringed because there was nothing to stop her from going to a school where her religion did not require a jilbab or where she was allowed to wear one. Article 9 does not require that one should be allowed to manifest one's religion at any time and place of one's own choosing. Her family had chosen that school for her with knowledge of its uniform requirements.

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Legislation
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Recent Articles of Interest
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
     From SSRN: Sherif Girgis, Fragility, Not Superiority: “Substantial Burdens” on Religion and the Fairness of Special Protections, (September 1, 2020). Mark Bell, Fratelli Tutti: Pope Francis’ Encyc...
    ...... Girgis, Fragility, Not Superiority: “Substantial Burdens” on Religion and the Fairness of Special Protections, (September 1, 2020). Mark Bell, ...Mark Bell, Bridging a Divide: A Faith-Based Perspective on Anti-Discrimination Law, ((2020) 9 Oxford Journal of ......
  • Britain Has New Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    In Britain last week, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced: The Prime Minister has today appointed Rehman Chishti MP as his new Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. In his new ...
    ......In his new position, Rehman Chishti will bring together efforts across the UK Government, with faith actors and civil society to promote the UK’s firm stance on religious tolerance abroad. The Special Envoy will continue to lead the implementation ......
  • Britain Has New Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    In Britain last week, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced: The Prime Minister has today appointed Rehman Chishti MP as his new Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. In his new ...
    ......In his new position, Rehman Chishti will bring together efforts across the UK Government, with faith actors and civil society to promote the UK’s firm stance on religious tolerance abroad. The Special Envoy will continue to lead the implementation ......
  • Keeping Faith
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ......In Brief. The definitions included in the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations are wide and it is not immediately clear what might count as "religion" or "religious belief" and what other types of belief ......
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