Another example of religious privilege

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
This was reported yesterday by the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43922000

A coroner in London was taken to court to force her to prioritise dealing with cases of those of muslim or jewish faith. Currently the coroner follows a first come first served basis to deal with cases, except for murder cases or organ donors.

The court found that the first come first served mechanism was discriminatory to jewish and muslim people who have a religious obligation to bury the dead on the day they die or as soon as possible.

I have two problems with the whole situation.

First , in order to accommodate the religious preference of some, others will be disadvantaged. The court in effect is now saying that discrimination against people of no faith is fine.

Second, the religious requirement seems to be to bury on the day of death or as soon as possible. It appears to me that cases requiring the coroner's attention will be rare, and in those, as soon as possible is when the coroner releases the body. I fail to understand how doing things as the coroner is doing at the moment infringes upon the religious requirements.
 

Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
This was reported yesterday by the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43922000

A coroner in London was taken to court to force her to prioritise dealing with cases of those of muslim or jewish faith. Currently the coroner follows a first come first served basis to deal with cases, except for murder cases or organ donors.
A summary of the judgment and the full text are here:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/aybs-v-hmcoroner-judgment-summary.pdf

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/aybs-v-hmcoroner-judgment.pdf

As ever the reality is more nuanced than news reporters manage to reflect.
 
OP
C R

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
A summary of the judgment and the full text are here:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/aybs-v-hmcoroner-judgment-summary.pdf

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/aybs-v-hmcoroner-judgment.pdf

As ever the reality is more nuanced than news reporters manage to reflect.
I have read the summary, not the full judgement as I am not familiar with legal language.

In any case, isn't the final result of the judgment to sort of imply that it is ok to prioritise based on religious belief even if that results in disadvantage to others? That's my reading of paragraph (2) section 5 of the summary.
 
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subaqua

What’s the point
Location
Leytonstone
I have read the summary, not the full judgement as I am not familiar with legal language.

In any case, isn't the final result of the judgment to sort of imply that it is ok to prioritise based on religious belief even if that results in disadvantage to others? That's my reading of paragraph (2) section 5 of the summary.

The judgement says she can’t have a policy of refusing to prioritise . I think this is the crux of the matter

It also says priority is not automatically afforded due to religious reasons .

So all those getting worried the Muslims are getting priority can calm down ..

If the coroner is involved then priority would be last thing in my mind . Proper procedure would be .
 

BoldonLad

Veteran
Location
South Tyneside
[QUOTE 5227629, member: 45"]This isn't something that a wholesale directive can cover. The judgement allows for looking at individual circumstances and considering all of the factors before making a specific decision.[/QUOTE]

?
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
I don't see it as a problem prioritising Muslim and Jewish people as long as the rest are done in a timely fashion.
I agree. My mother's body was released by the Coroner 10 days after she died in circumstances that were not very controversial. I would not like to see Muslim and Jewish people suffering the distress of having to wait that long, given their beliefs.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
Is it just me, or is the concept of "religious privilege being enshrined in law by the back door" a little, well, odd - given the enormous front-door privilege given to religion? Or have the C of E and the RC church now been told to knuckle down and accept the same employment practices as the rest of the country?
 
OP
C R

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
Is it just me, or is the concept of "religious privilege being enshrined in law by the back door" a little, well, odd - given the enormous front-door privilege given to religion? Or have the C of E and the RC church now been told to knuckle down and accept the same employment practices as the rest of the country?
Good point. I have changed the thread title accordingly.
 
OP
C R

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
For further background into the story I would recommend reading the National Secular Society coverage:

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/02/judicial-office-rejects-complaints-against-equal-treatment-coroner

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/01/legal-threat-over-coroners-refusal-to-prioritise-religious-burials

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/04/court-rules-against-coroners-cab-rank-policy

What we have here is a public officer who stood up for the principle of equality for all against the bullying of a fundamentalist and vocal minority. Unfortunately, she is now being left to hang by the state.

It is clear that the groups behind the judicial review are using this as a means of forcing defference to religious custom at the cost of others if need be.

If the issue is distress for the family, can the rabbi or immam not help ease that distress by pointing out that as soon as possible is acceptable in the circumstances? Why is the most extreme interpretation always favoured, and everyone else has to acommodate?
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
I hope for your sake @C R you never ever need an ounce of special treatment or discretion or even a favour to make your lot more bearable.

Next time you are driving and someone lets you into a queue of traffic, I hope you refuse and wait until the queue has run its course. Don't forget that everyone behind the person who lets you in is automatically disadvantaged.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I’m still trying to see what the ‘privilege’ aspect of this is....
It looks rather more like standard issue prejudice, doesn't it? I can hear the ignorant chunterings in the racist FB pages a mile off, and suspect the original thread title might not have been uninspired by them.

When figures as varied as Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, David Lammy and Sadiq Khan agree it's probably not something to get too het up about. And when you read the second link provided by @C R and realise the blanket change of policy which has now been overturned was a response to a single case where a traumatised and recently bereaved relative was, by the sounds of it, met with a brick wall of incomprehension, it's difficult to understand why on earth the coroner thought she could get away with her decision.
 

Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
Key quote from judgment:

This also underlines the point that what Article 9 requires is not that there should be any favouritism, whether in favour of religious belief in general or in favour of any particular religious faith, but that there should be a fair balance struck between the rights and interests of different people in society. The fundamental flaw in the present policy adopted by the Defendant is that it fails to strike any balance at all, let alone a fair balance.

So no requirement to give religion privilege, just a need to consider it as a factor.
 
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