Friday, 10 February 2012

No prayers at council meetings rules LJ Ousley in High Court

In a case brought by National Secular Society on behalf of a councilor, Mr Bone from Bideford Council the Head of the Administrative Court, Mr Justice Ouseley, directed: "I do not think the 1972 Act [...] should be interpreted as permitting the religious views of one group of councilors, however sincere or large in number, to exclude, or even to a modest extent, to impose burdens on or even to mark out those who do not share their views and do not wish to participate in their expression of them. They are all equally elected councilors".

In England up to now atheists and members of other religions were forced to endure prayers at the start of each Council meeting.

I wonder what are the implications for Privy Council and other places where prayers are also practiced.

While this judgement is fair and has delighted many the fact is that in UK there is a great deal of oppression and religious bias left in many public institutions including medical.

Mr Bone is capable and lucky in finding the right assistance from National Secular Society but this is not what happens to all who have equally good causes.

Mentally ill people who suffered abuse as children by clergy still have to have nun visiting them as a social worker if their local NHS/Social Services provider decides so. They would be experiencing painful reminders of their traumas including panic attacks.

There are people who have learning difficulties and I do not see how they would be able to take their case to the High Court for their human rights to be protected. Should the willing doctor do that then High Court is not interested in their rights. Judicial reviews appeals for permission to appeal can be far too demanding on the judge who has far too much work thrown at him/her and of course, mistakes are bound to happen.

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