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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

28 SEP 2013

Secular values and sacred rights: Re G (Education: Religious Upbringing) [2013] CFLQ 336

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Re G (Education: Religious Upbringing) is an important contribution both to judicial understanding of welfare and to the question of the court's role in adjudicating religious disputes. Munby LJ's ambitious approach to welfare is welcome for the breadth of consideration it gives to all aspects of the child's life and for its recognition of the centrality of relationships to children's well-being. It is, however, a daunting task for the judge, raising again the concern that the welfare principle is simply indeterminate. Munby LJ's sensitive approach to religious difference and his careful analysis of the role of the court in resolving religious disputes is also welcome, particularly for the clarity with which he identifies the values applied by the court. There remains, however, a tension between the court's stated aim of neutrality and the imposition of majority standards that risk jeopardising that neutrality.

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