Legal systems in Western countries recognize - Essay Example

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Introduction: Legal systems in Western countries recognize equal protection of the law. Therefore equality is not an issue. However, equality in practice cannot always be achieved as the equal rights of one group can conflict with the equal rights of another. …
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Essay Topic: “Equality law has failed if it has simply produced a collision between competing equality strands. There must be better ways of resolving conflicts between faith-based and sexuality-based equality rights.” Discuss in the light of recent British case-law and wider international academic debate. Draft Introduction: Legal systems in Western countries recognize equal protection of the law. Therefore equality is not an issue.1 However, equality in practice cannot always be achieved as the equal rights of one group can conflict with the equal rights of another. (Discuss the purpose of equality laws and the tensions that can arise between sex-based rights and faith based rights). The UK recognized sexual orientation as a new sex-based right worthy of equal protection of the law.2 The expansion of sex-based equalities under the Equality Act 2010 is flawed however. Identify the purpose of the essay. Hypothesis: the Equality Act 2010, is a reminder of the tensions between the recognition and protection of equal rights in favour of one group against another.3 Faith-based and Sexuality-based Equality Laws The most common tensions between faith-based and sexuality-based equality laws is the rights of gays to the equal protection of the law and freedom of religion which generally includes the right to discriminate against gays particularly the right to oppose same-sex unions and adoptions.4 More broadly, British anti-discrimination laws and international human rights both emphasize the significance of equality in terms of sex, sexuality and religion, yet there are no clear or satisfactory guidance as to how to resolve the attending conflicts between religious freedom and the equal protection of genders and sexuality-based equal rights.5 (Discuss the debate among international academics with respect to resolving the tensions between faith-based and sexuality-based equality laws). 1. Religious autonomy – the right to practice and manifest one’s beliefs and ideologies. 2. Religious beliefs should not include the right to discriminate against any group.6 (Discuss the Equality Act 2010). Faith-based Equality Laws Freedom of religion or belief in the UK as in other Western democracies arguably permits discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.7 Religious and belief-based discrimination is permitted on the grounds that it is an individual freedom: freedom of conscience, religion, belief and ideology. Essentially religious freedom is justified on the basis of a “liberty-equality dichotomy which prioritises the integrity of faith” as a prevailing ingredient.8This conceptualization of religious freedom is an oversimplification of the right to religious freedom as it fails to set the necessary parameters for tempering religious freedoms so that they are compatible with non-discrimination laws. As argued by Daly and Hickey, the neo-republican theory recognizes that freedom is expressed in non-denomination terms and the right to discriminate is not a necessary component of religious freedom.9 (Discuss issues/tensions between religious freedom and sexual orientation/gay rights in the UK). (Discuss the Human Rights Act 1988 and the European Convention on Human Rights. Also discuss the Civil Partnership Act 2004). (Discuss case law dealing with the tensions between faith-based equality laws and sexuality-based equality laws: Ladele v Islington, R (SB) v Governors of Denbigh High School, McClintock v Department of Constitutional Affairs, McFarlane v Relate. Sexuality-based Equalities Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is defined by Section 3(1) of the Equality Act 2010. (Go into detail, see also Section 4 of EA, 2010. Identify conflicts with religious freedom). (Demonstrate how these tensions have been dealt with by the courts: P v S, Goodwin v UK, Bellinger v Belligner/ provide analysis). Conclusion: Read More
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