Comments: more from the McFarlane judgment

“To the religious adherent ‘Religion’ is the route to salvation:-

•The fear of hell is central to the appellant’s religious belief; and individuals ought to be informed of the consequences of hell;

•The proposition of the appellant’s religious belief is that sin will have eternal consequences. Those who do not repent will go to hell when they die…”

Isn't it illegal to make threats against other people? I don't see much difference between 'If you don't do this I will send in the heavies to beat you up' and If you don't do this you will go to hell?'

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 8:46am BST

More about Paul Diamond here: (Scroll down to 5. Resolutions)
This all relates to an article he wrote back in 2005 (I think?) and the legal cases that arose as a result of the Bar Council's reaction to it.

I cannot yet find the article in question nor the judgments that followed, but the resolutions Paul Diamond places before his own professional body and the debate that follows give an interesting insight into this lawyer.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 8:55am BST

Here is a further report on the Bar Council episode

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 9:04am BST

The following is from guidance to Local Government employees in the run-up to the General Election. As a Christian, I would have no problem if the word "political" was replaced by "religious". I would still consider it a reasonable requirement and I am sorry there are Christians and former archbishops who dont see it that way.

"The Code of Conduct for Staff, which applies to all employees of the Council, requires that in our work we must maintain political neutrality. As individuals we are all entitled to hold political views but as employees of the Council we must not allow those views to impinge upon our work.

If your post is politically restricted then you are prevented from standing as a candidate for election. You can, though, resign your employment to stand.

Regardless of whether or not you are politically restricted you must not allow your own political opinions to influence or interfere with your work."

Posted by Terence Dear at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 9:43am BST

Paul Diamond means well but a different approach might work at least as well in terms of winning cases. The art of advocacy is to persuade, not crusade.

His defeat at the level below Lord Justice Laws is explained at

Sir Nicholas Underhill says at paragraph 14:

"It is convenient at this stage to refer to the way in which the Claimant's case was argued before us. Mr Diamond opened the appeal but confined himself to what in his skeleton he characterised as "Submissions on Human Rights Law" based on art. 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights: those submissions were at a high level of generality and not closely related to any analysis of the particular issues on the appeal... it would have been helpful to have had a structured analysis of the key authorities, cross-referred to the particular issues arising on this appeal. That is not something which Mr Diamond offered us..."

Posted by badman at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 9:52am BST

thanks, badman.
The underlying URL is

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 10:01am BST

"The law of theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the state, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself" - Lord Justice Laws -

Unless the British state is a theocracy, which it manifestly is not - despite the present alignment between State and the Church of England - what the Lord Justice is saying here is pretty clear, even to me. Democracy demands government by the people for the people, and as the judiciary is separate from the peculiar State/Church relationship, this is how U.K. citizens are legally governed - by rule of Law, not by the Church.

One of the problems of the primacy of Canterbury being 'inter pares' with other Anglican Churches around the world which are not governed by the exigencies of the Church of England, is that any prejudicial attitude against any sector of society obtaining through Church/State relationships in the C.of E., is apt to 'rub off' onto the other Provinces of the Communion - which have their own state laws to honour and obey.

The only theocracies which exist in the world at the moment would appear to be Muslim. Does the Church of England need to establish its own theocracy in the U.K.?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 30 April 2010 at 10:27am BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.