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A critique of the decision in Conisbee that vegetarianism is not ‘a belief’

Cranmer, Frank and Sandberg, Russell ORCID: 2020. A critique of the decision in Conisbee that vegetarianism is not ‘a belief’. Ecclesiastical Law Journal 22 (1) , pp. 36-48. 10.1017/S0956618X19001650

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Mr G Conisbee v Crossley Farms Ltd & Ors [2019] ET 3335357/2018 was a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not vegetarianism was ‘capable of satisfying the requirement and definition of being a philosophical belief (protected characteristic) under the Equality Act 2010’. Employment Judge Postle held that vegetarianism did not amount to a philosophical belief, comparing it to veganism. It is the latest in the confusing and contradictory case law on the meaning of the term ‘religion or belie’ under English law. This comment contends that not only was the application of the law by the Employment Tribunal suspect but that, at times, the articulation of the law was also questionable. It falls into three sections, closely analysing and critiquing three parts of the judgment in turn. The first and second sections examine the arguments for both sides (as articulated in the judgment) since these explain the approach taken by the Tribunal. The final part then explores the conclusions reached by Employment Judge Postle. Because this section of the judgment is rather cursory, detailed analysis of what the Tribunal says about the arguments of counsel for both sides is needed in order to understand the decision given. All three parts of the judgment contain questionable statements of law and the applications of law. This suggests that the decision needs to be appealed, because it has the potential to create further confusion in an area of the law which is already mired in uncertainty.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0956-618X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 November 2019
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 15:27

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