Law and religion round-up – 21st March

And in the week in which the President of the Supreme Court described suggestions that its name should be changed as “idiotic”…

The right to worship and the right of public protest

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has urged the Government to put the right to protest in England during the lockdown on the same footing as the right to picket and the right to take part in communal worship. In its latest report, The Government response to covid-19: freedom of assembly and the right to protest, the Joint Committee has called on the Government to bring forward Regulations to amend the law to make it clear that protest is permitted if conducted in a manner that reduces public health risks to an acceptable level.

The Committee points out that the right to protest safely has to be accommodated within the general defence of “reasonable excuse” so as not to traverse Article 11 ECHR (peaceful assembly) and the Human Rights Act 1998 and suggests that there has been a “confusing ambiguity” in the Regulations governing gatherings. It concludes at paragraph 83: Continue reading