Manifestation of belief and religious upbringing: when parents disagree

A recent case in the Court of Appeal, G (Children), Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1233 (4 October 2012), has raised some fundamental questions about the tension between the religious life and the demands of wider society in the 21st century.

The case concerned a conflict between divorced parents about their children’s education. Both are Orthodox Jews. The father, a Chareidi, wanted the children to attend single-sex schools operated in accordance with the principles of the Chareidi community. The mother, who regards herself as Orthodox but is no longer a member of the Chareidi community, wanted to send the children to a “Modern Orthodox” school that was coeducational in its teaching, where, aside from lessons, boys and girls participated equally in most activities and in which, for example, the pupils’ homes mostly had television (para 6). The mother brought proceedings under Part II of the Children Act 1989. Continue reading