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Chapter

Cover Harris, O'Boyle, and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights

12. Article 9: Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion  

David Harris, Michael O’boyle, Ed Bates, Carla M. Buckley, KreŠimir Kamber, ZoË Bryanston-Cross, Peter Cumper, and Heather Green

This chapter discusses Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers forms of both religious and non-religious belief. Few Articles of the Convention have generated as much controversy as Article 9, from complaints about curbs on religious dress and displays of religious symbols to conflicts over faith in the workplace. In the past three decades, the Court has made important strides in formulating its own guidelines in relation to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The chapter considers the restrictions on belief permitted by Article 9.

Chapter

Cover Harris, O'Boyle, and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights

12. Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion  

David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, Carla Buckley, and Peter Cumper

This chapter discusses Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers forms of both religious and non-religious belief. Few articles of the Convention have generated as much controversy as Article 9, from complaints about curbs on religious dress and displays of religious symbols to conflicts over faith at the workplace. In the past two decades, the Court has made important strides in formulating its own guidelines in relation to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Chapter

Cover Complete Criminal Law

7. Defences of compulsion  

This chapter focuses on legal defences to criminal offences in England and Wales that will result in acquittal, which include duress and duress of circumstances, necessity, compulsion, public and private defence, and mistaken belief. These defences can be divided into justifications and excuses, and most of them consist of subjective and objective elements. The chapter explains the general principles of these excusatory and justificatory defences and evaluates proposed reforms of criminal law covering these types of defence. It also provides examples of relevant cases and analyses the bases of court decisions in each of them.

Book

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

Jonathan Herring

Medical Law and Ethics covers not only the core legal principles, key cases, and statutes that govern medical law, but also explores the key ethical debates and dilemmas that exist in the field to ensure that the law is firmly embedded within its context. The title highlights these debates, drawing angles from other jurisdictions, religious beliefs, and feminist perspectives which influence legal regulations. Other features such as ‘a shock to the system’, ‘public opinion’, and ‘reality check’ introduce further sociological aspects, contributing to the way in which the subject is approached. This new edition also includes a new chapter on the medical law governing children and discussion of the response to the COVID pandemic. It also discusses important developments in the case law governing the Mental Capacity Act, clinical negligence, abortion, and reproduction.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

15. Religious discrimination  

This chapter deals with religious discrimination law under the Equality Act. It discusses the historical background of religious discrimination law, protected characteristics, prohibited conduct on grounds of religious discrimination,. Religion and belief is not specifically defined in the statute, and is left for the courts to define. Atheists are protected, but beliefs which ‘conflict with the fundamental rights of others’ are not. Dress codes are one of the most contested topics in this area of law. There are also specific exceptions for religious employers. The chapter also considers the conflict and competing interests between religious discrimination and other protected characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law in Context

11. The Protected Characteristics  

This chapter analyses the ‘protected characteristics’ in the Equality Act 2010. These include sex, gender re-assignment, pregnancy, and maternity discrimination; race discrimination; religion or belief discrimination; sexual orientation, marriage, and civil partnership discrimination; and age discrimination. It examines these protected characteristics in detail, including some of the ‘boundary disputes’ which arise in the case of some of them. It then explores the genuine occupational requirements exception; the mechanics of the reversed burden of proof in discrimination cases; and the law of vicarious liability in the context of discrimination. Finally, the chapter sets out the various remedies available where a claimant is successful in his/her discrimination complaint before an employment tribunal.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

18. Human rights in action  

This chapter explores how three Convention rights operate in practice: the right to life (Article 2), the right to a private and family life (Article 8), and freedom of religious belief (Article 9). Article 2 provides that everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of one’s life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following one’s conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law. Article 8 provides that everyone has the right to respect for one’s private and family life, home, and correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, Article 9 provides that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change and manifest one’s religion or belief.

Book

Cover Human Rights Law Directions
Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Self-test questions and exam questions help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. Human Rights Law Directions has been written expressly to guide you through your study of human rights law, and to explain clearly and concisely the key areas of this fascinating subject. Combining academic quality with innovative learning features and online support, this is an ideal text for those studying human rights law for the first time. This fifth edition has been fully updated with key developments in human rights law, including: discussion, in so far as information allows, of proposed reform of the legal protection of human rights in the United Kingdom, post-‘Brexit’; the ECtHR case law on unlawful rendition; deportation and human rights; the impact of human rights on warfare and the condition of British troops abroad; the impact of Article 8 on abortion and assisted suicide; concerns over surveillance and communications data; the impact of human rights law on controversies over religious dress (such as the burqa ban in France); and possible infringements of rights by the legal response to Coronavirus.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

16. Article 9: freedom of thought, conscience, and religion  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter discusses Article 9, which establishes a general right to freedom of ‘thought, conscience, and religion’. The right to ‘manifest’ belief is ‘qualified’ in the sense that justified interferences are allowed. The duty of a court addressing an Article 9 issue is to decide whether there has been an interference, for which the state is responsible, that either restricts a person in holding religious beliefs or restricts the manifestation of belief. Manifestations of belief can be restricted if the restriction can be justified under the terms of Article 9(2). Important issues involving conscientious objection and the wearing of religious dress both in the context of employment and generally are considered in relation to justification. Article 9 can often be invoked in tandem with other Convention rights that also help to secure freedom of religion and belief.