2013 may prove to be a bumper year for legal cases involving Christian belief. Controversy is already brewing over the issue of gay marriage, and the wearing of religious symbols at work.
Additionally, according to the Telegraph, the Government has suggested the temporary relaxation of Sunday opening regulations, effective around the time of the London Olympics last summer, might be made permanent. Currently, stores larger than 280 square meters in size are allowed to open for a maximum of six hours only, under the Sunday Trading Act 1994.
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), which claims to be the largest umbrella organisation for women’s associations in Europe, presented key policy recommendations for legislation to MEPs in Brussels last Wednesday.
BBC News reports that over 200 women’s rights groups, led by EWL, are campaigning for new laws to make paying for sex a crime throughout the European Union.
The Telegraph reported yesterday on the considerations of a High court judge when deciding whether to allow an appeal by a convicted felon, regarding the practice of ‘slopping out’, which lingers in some older UK prisons after being largely phased out in the 1990s.
In the original claim last year, two former inmates argued that slopping out, or using a bucket for toilet purposes when locked in a cell and the later emptying of the bucket at a sluice, contravened their human rights under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention (ECHR).
Freedom of expression with regard to religion has been in the news again this week.
The Independent reports that two British Christians appeared before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Monday. They came to press their case for the freedom to wear a cross or crucifix at work, under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
A report in the Telegraph on Sunday relates how a 70-year-old survivor of the London tube bombing in July 2005, who still has shrapnel embedded in his head, has been shocked to learn he cannot attain British citizenship.
Professor John Tulloch has been living a financially secure life, most recently residing in the Vale of Glamorgan with his British wife. He also has children who are British.
A High Court judge, sitting at the Court of Protection in London, ruled last Friday that a severely anorexic woman, known only as ‘L’, need not be force-fed by her clinicians.
This ruling was made even though her life appears to be in imminent danger.
The family of a man with locked-in-syndrome announced his unexpected death from natural causes on Wednesday. This sad event came a week after the man lost his High Court claim to be allowed to end his life with the help of a doctor, as reported by BBC News.
Voluntary euthanasia, also known as assisted dying or assisted suicide, means that a person wants to die and is able to make their wishes known, but cannot accomplish this aim without the aid of another.
This week the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld a German man’s conviction for conducting an incestuous relationship with his sister. The relationship resulted in the birth of four children, two of whom are handicapped.
Patrick Stuebing, of Leipzig in eastern Germany, was convicted more than once for the crime, eventually being sentenced to a jail term in 2005 by the district court of the city. The sister was not tried for incest as she suffers from a personality disorder. (more…)
There is consternation from commentators and politicians regarding the implementation of UK abortion regulations, particularly those which cover doctors’ consent for the procedure. The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has now ordered a police inquiry into the matter after receiving results from an official investigation he instituted, carried out by the sector regulator – the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Newspapers are reporting that these results show that one in five abortion clinics may be breaking the law. The Abortion Act 1967, which covers England, Scotland and Wales, states that legal abortions can be carried out in specialised licensed clinics. (more…)
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is urging Germany and the Czech Republic to abolish surgical castration of sex offenders as the practice might be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The countries are the only two in Europe which still occasionally resort to such practices.
According to the German Government the procedure is not considered to be a punishment but a form of treatment as it provides “suffering tied to an abnormal sex drive…to be cured or at least alleviated”. (more…)