The disagreement about Leveson purports to be a debate about 'press freedom'. In those terms, it is monstrously distorted. Powerful interests are disingenuously trying to portray as lingering 'state control' a reasonable attempt to give an arms-length independent regulatory framework legal underpinning as a matter of last resort.
Christianity and the Law have been in a more or less constant state of relational flux over the course of history, observes barrister Andrew Worthley, considering two of the recent European Court of Human Rights cases brought on grounds of religious discrimination. The idea that iron-clad secular law and immutable religion are on a collision course misunderstands both law and religion, as well as the nuances of history and of texts, he suggests.
When those in power disregard human rights and undermine the rule of law, the results can be horrific, observes Savitri Hensman, commenting on recent developments in Sri Lanka. It is to be hoped that, today, non-violent means of resistance will be used, as Sri Lankans and those who care about Sri Lanka seek to defend democracy and civil liberties.
The work of scholars in critical religion may indeed concentrate on the semantics of 'religion', but this is far from being 'merely' an academic issue, points out Gabrielle Desmarais from the University of Ottawa. The meaning of the word 'religion' and the language used to regulate that definition are at the forefront of a range of constitutional cases about new religious movements.
In February 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that B&B owners acted unlawfully when they turned away a gay couple. Some have claimed that this is putting protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation above religious rights. But this is a false distinction.