Cultural relativism and ‘honour’ killing

Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology has undertaken research that shows that the practice of vigilante justice or ‘honour’ killing usually against women is regarded by a substantial proportion of the students surveyed as morally acceptable. The report suggests that of the 850 Jordanian students surveyed, attitudes in support of honour killing are far more likely in adolescent boys with low education backgrounds:

“In total, 33.4% of all respondents either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with situations depicting honour killings. Boys were more than twice as likely to support honour killings: 46.1% of boys and 22.1% of girls agreed with at least two honour killing situations in the questionnaire. 61% of teenagers from the lowest level of educational background showed supportive attitudes towards honour killing, as opposed to only 21.1% where at least one family member has a university degree. 41.5% of teenagers with a large number of siblings endorsed at least two honour-killing situations, while this was only the case for 26.7% of teens from smaller families.” (supra)

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Royal Successor Can’t Marry a Catholic But Can Marry a Man

The Act of Settlement 1700 section II prohibits the new royal baby boy (qua successor to the throne) from ever being a Catholic. Hasty efforts by way of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 are still not law.[fn] The Succession to the Crown Act must be accepted in each of the 15 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state. While three countries, Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, have approved the law, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Barbados, Tuvalu, Grenada, Solomon Islands, St Lucia, and the Bahamas still have not.[/fn] At the same time, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013 has received the Royal Assent. The requirement of any constitutional consensus across the Commonwealth has been by-passed.

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Public Order Act Amendments Confer Few Article 9 Protections

Proposed amendments to the Public Order Act aim to protect from prosecution, although perhaps not job loss, those who believe same-sex marriage to be contrary to public interest. These amendments highlight an important conceptual problem. In Eweida and Others v. UK four Christian applicants challenged employment tribunal decisions against them largely on Article 9 (freedom of belief) grounds. Although Nadia Eweida’s case in favour of wearing a small cross to work at British Airways was successful in the ECHR, three other applicants failed. In particular, Lillian Ladele lost her job as a registrar for failing to perform civil partnerships once the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 was enacted.

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Incentivising Death

The recent revelation that the rolling out of the Liverpool Care Pathway as the NHS National End of Life Care strategy in 2008 had been financially incentivised and implemented with astonishing compliance emerged as a thought-provoking development. Many of us have been warning for years of the financial, political and research interests that there are in institutionalising sedation-and-dehydration regimes, and then, inevitably, medical homicide. Freedom of Information Act requests exposed the millions of pounds that have been paid for the implementation of this national end-of-life care strategy. Much more interestingly, they showed that some hospital trusts had been paid these funds for ensuring that up to two thirds of all deaths were Pathway deaths.

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