Posts Tagged ‘uk’

New Human Rights Blog

1 Crown Office Row has launched a new blog, the UK Human Rights Blog. It will be authored by a junior, a silk and an academic member of chambers. They describe the new venture as follows:

For 10 years, 1 Crown Office Row, the Chambers of Philip Havers QC, have run the widely acclaimed free Human Rights Update service at This blog aims to expand on that service.

Nadia Eweida in the Court of Appeal

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal reserved judgment in the case of Nadia Eweida, a Pentacostal Christian and British Airways check-in worker who was banned from visibly wearing a small cross and chain around her neck while at work. BA  permitted  employees to wear items which were required by particular religious belief, such as the Jewish yarmulke, the Sikh kara and turban and the Muslim hijab but did not permit other symbols or garmets which expressed a political or religious allegiance. Ms Eweida wears the cross as an expression of her Christianity and to remind others that Jesus loves them. BA eventually changed its policy – in part because of financial pressure exerted by the Church of England – but in the meantime a precedent was set at the Employment Appeals Tribunal which Ms Eweida, with the backing of Liberty, is seeking to challenge. Ms Eweida’s case will be of interest to those who are following similar Irish disputes, including that over the place of Sikh turbans in the garda uniform.

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Ghai v Newcastle City Council in the Court of Appeal.

January 19, 2010 1 comment

“My loyalty is to Britain’s values of fairness, tolerance and freedom. If I cannot die as a true Hindu, it will mean those values have died too.”

In the UK, the Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the case of Davender Ghai (pictured left, centre), an elderly Hindu man who is challenging a decision of Newcastle City Council refusing permission for the construction of a site on which traditional Hindu funeral ceremonies could be celebrated. Such ceremonies involve the cremation of the deceased’s remains on an open-air funeral pyre, which is set alight by the eldest son or other appropriate relative. Mr. Ghai explains the ritual, which includes the breaking of the deceased’s skull, here. In 2006, Mr. Ghai was involved in the illegal Northumberland funeral rites of Rajpal Mehat, which included an open air pyre. The BBC reports with footage of the event here. The local police did not intervene and the Crown Prosecution Service determined that prosecution would not be in the public interest.The Council argues that the burning of human remains other than in a crematorium is prohibited by legislation. Mr. Ghai was unsuccessful in the High Court. The judgment of Cranston J is here and a shorter case note is available here.

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