Law and religion round-up – 28th August

Seven Principles of Public Life…

The House of Commons returns from the summer recess on 5 September 2022, and a Westminster Hall debate on the Seven Principles of Public Life (aka the Nolan Principles) led by Paula Barker MP has been scheduled for 7 September at 2:30 pm. We have no idea what might have prompted this…

Births in England & Wales 2021

In 2021, for the first time since records began in 1845, a majority of babies in England and Wales – 51 per cent – was born to unmarried mothers rather than to mothers in a marriage or civil partnership. The legal distinction between legitimacy and illegitimacy was not eradicated until the entry into force of the Family Law Reform Act 1987. [With thanks to The Conversation.]

Church of England appoints Racial Justice Director

On 23 August 2022, the Church of England announced that it had appointed a former Barbados High Commissioner to the UK, the Revd Guy Hewitt (or as it insisted on calling him, “Revd Hewitt”), as its first Racial Justice Director. He will take up the post in November, heading the Church’s Racial Justice Unit.

The first biannual Racial Justice Report of the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice was released on 28 June 2022 and is reviewed here. Extracts from “[f]urther reflections on monuments connected to slavery in churches and other church buildings in the light of recent cases” (pp 22-24) are reproduced in our post, Racial Justice First Report: consistory courts.

Charity Commission Legal Board Member

DCMS has announced that the Secretary of State has appointed Ann Phillips as Charity Commission Legal Board Member for a three-year term commencing 1 September 2022. Ms Phillips is a consultant with Stone King LLP and was previously its senior partner. She was Chair of the Charity Law Association from 2011 to 2014.

Exhumation of Richard III – The Movie

The BBC article Richard III: How things have changed since we dug up a king reports that a film, The Lost King, starring Steve Coogan and Sally Hawkins, has been made on the discovery and identification of the remains of Richard III and is due for release shortly. It is now over 10 years since Richard III’s remains were first uncovered on 25 August 2012, although it was not until 4 February 2013 that the evidence confirming their identify was finally announced. 

The first of a series of posts on the developments was published on 6 October 2012, since when we have covered the application and somewhat inelegant modification of s25 Burial Act 1857 in relation to both Richard III and other “lost” monarchs. The index to these is currently being reviewed and expanded. 

“Church treasures”

In Re St James Welland [2011] Worcester Const. Ct, Mynors Ch, the Chancellor said:

“[44]. Although most of the reported cases refer to the sale of “church treasures” as if that were a special category of property to which quite separate rules apply, it seems to me that there is no distinction in principle between the disposal…of an extremely valuable painting and that of a spare piece of carpet used in the vestry…”.

Further to our post Removal of bells from a closed church, which followed up the item our round-up of 14 August 2022 on the refurbishment of a ring of eight bells, Re St James Church Kirk [2022] ECC Bla 3, David has been drafting a further post  “Church treasures”: an unnecessary classification? or possibly “Church treasures”: a necessary classification?, though as with that recent questionable comment, “the jury is still out”. However, the background to our homework is at Links to materials on “church treasures”

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