Theresa May, law & religion over the last twelve months

As Home Secretary and Prime Ministerial candidate, Theresa May has featured in the following posts

Brexit Basics 3: update 9th July

This summary included a link to Katie Jukes, RightsInfo: Brexit Fallout Continues, But Is The European Convention On Human Rights Safe? – This Week’s Human Rights News And Quotes “Political turmoil this week as leadership challenges afflict the UK’s major political parties following the vote for Brexit. Conservative leadership candidate Theresa May declared she would not withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights, while Government proposals for a ‘British Bill of Rights’ continue to stall”. [3 July]

This referred to her candidacy speech on 30 June 2016 with her answer to a question on the European Court of Human Rights. She said:

I’ve set my position on the ECHR out very clearly but I also recognise that this is an issue that divides people, and the reality is there will be no Parliamentary majority for pulling out of the ECHR, so that is something I’m not going to pursue.

Community religious rights and Article 9 ECHR

In Hamat (Article 9 – freedom of religion: Afghanistan) [2016] UKUT 286 (IAC) the nub of the argument was whether or not the actions of Home Secretary Theresa May in refusing to grant asylum to Mr Hamat, an Afghan who had been working as the de facto imam of the Afghanistan Islamic Cultural Centre, had violated the Article 9 rights of the Afghan community to choose its own religious leaders. […]

Though it was an Article 9 claim, it did not operate in a markedly different way from the proportionality exercise in the related Article 8 case; nor did it favour the AICC and its members on the issue of Article 9 proportionality [82]. Appeal dismissed. [30 June 2016] [Link to post]

UK Government launches independent review into sharia

In March 2015 Mrs May spoke of “examples of sharia law being used to discriminate against women” but then went on to concede that “we know we have a problem, but we do not yet know the full extent of the problem”, calling for an independent investigator to be appointed – which is yet to occur. [12 July 2015] [Link to post]

She launched her promised independent review of the operation of sharia law in England and Wales, chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, OBE FRSE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The panel includes Sir Mark Hedley, Chancellor of the Diocese of Liverpool and a former High Court judge, family law barrister Sam Momtaz and specialist family lawyer Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE QC (hon), a partner with Dawson Cornwell solicitors. The panel will be advised by two religious and theological experts: Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim. [26 May 2016] [Link to post]

Can the UK leave the ECHR and remain in the European Union?

In April she argued that the UK should remain in the European Union but leave the European Convention on Human Rights. According to a report in The Guardian, she told a London audience at the weekend. [26 April 2016] [Link to post]

Safeguarding and the Goddard Inquiry

In February she announced the appointment of Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court Judge, as Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. It was set up on 12 March; and Maria Strauss, of Farrer & Co, provided a guest post to mark its inauguration. [6 August 2015] [Link to post]

On her position in relation to human rights in general, see RightsInfo: Theresa May’s Eight Human Rights Highs and Lows.

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