In HM Chief Inspector of Education v. Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School, (EWCA, Oct. 13, 2017), the England and Wales Court of Appeal held that a Muslim school which admits both boys and girls, but for religious reasons separates them into sex-segregated classes, violates the Equality Act 2010. The opinion of Etherton, MR (joined by Beatson, LJ) concluded that the separation operates to discriminate against both boys and girls, saying in part:An individual girl pupil cannot socialise and intermix with a boy pupil because, and only because, of her sex; and an individual boy pupil cannot socialise and intermix with a girl pupil because, and only because, of his sex. Each is, therefore, treated less favourably than would be the case if their sex was different.They also point out:It is common ground that the School is not the only Islamic school which operates such a policy and that a number of Jewish schools with a particular Orthodox ethos and some Christian faith schools have similar practices. In a separate opinion, Lady Justice Gloster argued that on the facts of this case, it should be found that the school’s practice also has a more detrimental effect on girls than on boys. She said in part:One does not need to be an educationalist, a sociologist or a psychiatrist to conclude that a mixed sex school: (i.) which, whether intentionally or otherwise, tolerates an environment where extreme and intolerant contemporary views about the role and physical subservience of women, and the entitlement of men physically to dominate and chastise them, are on display, or available to read, in the school library; (ii.) whose teachers approve the expression by the pupils of gender stereotyped views about the roles of women as homemakers and child minders and the role of men as the breadwinners; (iii.) where girls are always required to wait for an hour during the school day so that the boys can take a break first; and (iv.) where no, or no sufficient, consideration is given to promoting equal opportunity, is a school where a strict sex segregation policy subjects girls to a greater risk of extreme and intolerant views and is likely to reinforce or create misogynist attitudes amongst the boy pupils towards them.She also points out that the Equality Act contains an exception for single-sex schools, i.e. schools that only admit students of one sex.The Court also issued a press summary of its decision. Schools Week reports on the decision.
This piece was originally published on Just Security, an online forum for analysis of U.S. national security law and policy.
In Kelly v. Unemployment Compensation Review Board, (Commonwealth Ct. PA, Oct. 17, 2017), a Pennsylvania appellate court affirmed the denial of unemployment compensation benefits to an employee who resigned her job for religious reasons, but did not first inform her employer of her religious concerns. In the case, petitioner Lori Kelly worked as a project manager for the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Science’s Tissue Bank. Kelly, who is Catholic, became concerned when she learned that some of the fetal tissue samples whose distribution she facilitated came from aborted fetuses. However she complained at work only about the contentious relationship she had developed with her immediate supervisor. The court concluded:Respectful of Claimant’s religious beliefs, we must nevertheless affirm the order of the Board denying Claimant unemployment compensation benefits under Section 402(b) based on her failure to notify Employer of her religious objections to Employer’s use of fetal tissue in GUDMAP. Such notification would have provided Employer with an opportunity to accommodate her religious objections by transferring her to a project that did not involve the use of fetal tissue.
Survivors of the 2012 storm remain haunted. As hurricanes continue to batter the US, many say plans to mitigate climate change have not gone far enough: ‘People need to open their eyes’Hurricane Sandy still assails the thoughts of Annie Willis, haunting her with its onrushing black water and the harrowing sound of shattering windows. The storm mauled a cherished home that Willis and her family are still unable to return to, five years since it ravaged New York City.“I’d seen nothing like it in my life, the water was surging above the cars. It was like an out of body experience,” Willis, now a 20-year-old student, said. She lived with her mother, brother and dog in far Rockaway, part of a jawbone-like peninsula that juts out near JFK airport in Queens. Continue reading…
The Syrian regime carried out a gas attack in April which killed more than 80 people, UN says.
“This story, being put through an immigrant, gay lens, still works”
In State of Hawaii v. Trump,(D I, Oct. 17, 2017), a Hawaii federal district court issued a nation-wide temporary restraining order barring enforcement of most portions of the latest, more focused, version of President Trump’s travel ban. (See prior related posting.) This version, set out in a Presidential Proclamation and scheduled to take effect today, covers travel to the U.S. by nationals of eight countries. The court banned enforcement of the Proclamation (
Narisa Chakrabongse, a relative of King Bhumibol, speaks about the