Religion, children and the family courts

26 April 2013

Simon Johnson,

Barrister, Stour Chambers, Canterbury:

Munby LJ's (as he then was) decision in a dispute between parents about their children's religious upbringing in Re G (Education: Religious Upbringing) [2012] EWCA Civ 1233, [2013] 1 FLR 677 attracted much comment. Simon Johnson's article discusses it in the context of other decisions where issues of religion have been raised. The article considers R v Secretary of State for Education and Employment ex parte Williamson & Others     [2005] UKHL 15,    [2005] 2 FLR 374 (parents challenging the ban on corporal punishment in schools on the basis of their religious convictions), Re A and D (Local Authority: Religious Upbringing) [2010] EWHC 2503 (Fam),    [2011] 1 FLR 615 (analysis of a local authority's duty in relation to the religious upbringing of a child in care) and Re C (A Child) [2012] EW Misc 15(CC) (county court judge giving weight to the wishes of a 10 year old as to her religious affiliation). It shows how the court has approached the balancing of Art 9 rights to hold and manifest beliefs, the importance of the autonomy from the state of parents and children and the overarching principle that the welfare of the child is the court's primary concern in the context of disputes between parents, between parents and the state and, most intriguingly, between a parent and a child.

The full version of this article appears in the May 2013 issue of Family Law. 

Sponsor the Family Law Awards

Exhibiting at the Family Law Awards will allow you to position your organisation at the forefront of the legal market.

Click 'More Info' below to view a short film about our exhibition opportunities.

To discuss your requirements further please contact us on 0117 918 1419 or email ash_dickinson@jordanpublishing.co.uk

More Info »

Practice-plus-logo-final_with_boarder_75__image

Have you heard about this new service?

Family Law Practice Notes, Autodocs & Flow Charts

Stay at the cutting edge of legal practice and save time - request a call from an Account Manager to arrange and talk you through a trial.

More Info »