Religion and law round-up – 4th October

Scottish charities, caste, mental capacity, incense not a “legal high”, a new initiative on freedom of religion & belief – and the pitfalls of machine translation

Consultation on guidance for Scottish charity trustees

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (the OSCR, better-known as “Oscar”) has announced a full revision of its Guidance for Charity Trustees, which has been updated in light of OSCR’s experience of regulating the sector over the past nine years. Key features of the updated guidance include a less formal tone, illustrative examples and web-based sections that allow users to navigate between areas of particular interest to their own organisations. The Guidance was last updated in September 2010: since then, OSCR has conducted over 2,000 inquiries into charity governance and produced Who’s in Charge, a guidance document summarising issues of independence and control in charities. The updated guidance has also been informed by OSCR’s high-profile governance reviews.

The consultation runs from 28 September to 18 December. Its relevance to religious organisations in Scotland (and, for that matter, to denominations like the Methodists, the Quakers, the URC and the Salvation Army that operate across Great Britain or the entire UK) should hardly need mentioning – but it’s surprising how easy it is to miss these things.

Caste discrimination – or maybe not

We noted the judgment in Tirkey v Chandhok & Anor [2015] ET 3400174/2013 (or maybe “Chandok: there seems to be some disagreement over the spelling) on the substance of Ms Tirkey’s case against her employers. We concluded that, though she won on several grounds, the issue as to whether or not discrimination on grounds of caste contravened the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 was not really addressed. Continue reading