Saturday 31 July 2021

Guide to Religious Freedom and the Law - Neil Addison - CTS Explanations

Guide to Religious Freedom and the Law
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860829086
eISBN 9781784693664
CTS Booklet EX49

This is the first volume from Neil Addison that I have read, and I believe he only has five other books published. They all deal with religions and laws. This is the sixth volume that I have read in the CTS Explanations series. In the last few years I have read over 200 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. Based on the CTS number for this book EX49 and the list at the back of the book there are at least 49 books in this series. Prior to reading this one I thought it was 21. Some have eBooks, some are out of print, and a few are still available both in print and digitally. This is a fascinating series, it tackles some hard questions. And they give clear and concise summary of Catholic Teachings on those topics. But this one is a little different. It is a primer on British law and how it applies to Catholic or Christian organizations. The description on the back of this book is:

“This booklet considers areas of the law relating to Religious Freedom and Discrimination, which are of specific interest to Catholic institutions and individual Catholics; in particular the exemptions in Discrimination law which apply to religious organisations in England, Wales and Scotland. The author offers a helpful introductory tour of the key issues and areas to be aware of, primarily for a Catholic audience though it may well be of assistance to members of other religions and Churches since many of the legal questions are common across religious boundaries.”

The chapters in this volume are:

General Principles of Discrimination and Human Rights Law
      Human Rights
      Direct and Indirect Discrimination
      Varieties of Discrimination
Religious Organisations - Services and Membership
      Legal Exemptions for Religious Organisations
      Exemptions Relating to Religion or Belief
      Exemptions Relating to Sexual Orientation
      Exemptions Relating to Restrictions on Membership
      Advice Regarding Premises and Letting Agreements
      Catholic Charities
      Canon Law Relating to Catholic Charities
Employment Rights
      Catholic Organisations, Rights as Employers
      Employment Exemptions for Catholic Organisations
      Catholic Employees’ Rights
      Harassment at Work
      Medical and Health Care Personnel
University Students and Free Speech
Same Sex Marriage and Civil Partnerships
      Equality Act 2010 (Selected Sections)
      Exemptions From Equality Act 2010
      European Convention on Human Rights
      Motu Proprio “On the Service of Charity”
      List of Websites and Other Information Sources

The beginning of the introduction states:

“This booklet is an attempt to provide information on aspects of the law relating to religious freedom and discrimination which are of specific interest to Catholic institutions and individual Catholics. It is not intended as a guidance on the totality of the law.”

And further on:

“This booklet deals with the legal situation in England, Wales and Scotland. The Human Rights Act applies in Northern Ireland but not the Equality Act 2010 since Northern Ireland, for historical reasons, has its own quite specific legislation dealing with religious discrimination.”

There were parts of this book that were fascinating, and parts that were very dry. The appendices were very dry, but I did make it through them. As a Canadian this book was not particularly relevant to me. But the information was very interesting. The information is based on laws as they existed on October 31st 2013 but the author provides likes for where he will keep the information updated. I can see that for the intended audience this book would be excellent. And especially as the author is keeping the information updated. But as someone from across the pond, it was not terribly applicable to me. 

An interesting read. A good book in a great series.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Neil Addison:
Guide to Religious Freedom and the Law – CTS Explanations
Sharia Law or 'One Law for All'?
Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law
Left of the Clowns in Me
Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law
Harassment Law and Practice

Books in the CTS Explanations Series:
Marriage Annulment in the Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Does the Church oppress Women?
Organ Transplant – and the definition of Death
Be Yourself An Explanation of Humility - William Lawson SJ
Gene Therapy – and Human Genetic Engineering
Prenatal tests
Gift of life and Love
Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Contraception and Chastity
Freemasonry and the Christian Faith
Intelligent Life in the Universe
Spirits, Mediums & The Afterlife

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