The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) is a legal organization which was set up in December 2007[1] to provide legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom and lobby on their behalf. They are linked to the Christian Concern campaigning organisation.[2]

Notable cases

Since its inception, the CLC has provided legal support in a number of high-profile cases in the UK. Most of them have been unsuccessful. Notable examples include:
  • Emily Mapfuwa, a Christian who launched a private prosecution against the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead for exhibiting a statue by Terence Koh depicting Jesus with an erection.[3] In a BBC Essex radio interview, Michael Phillips (a solicitor working for CLC who is also a member of The Lawyers Christian Fellowship) admitted that Ms Mapfuwa had never actually visited the exhibition. In fact she lives over 250 miles (400 km) away in Brentwood, Essex.[4][5] The case was eventually discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.[6]
  • Eunice and Owen Johns, a Christian couple who applied to become foster parents with Derby City Council. They withdrew their application after a social worker expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable. The two parties jointly agreed to take the case to the High Court, for clarification of the law, but the court sided with the city council; stating that laws protecting people from discrimination, because of their sexual orientation, "should take precedence" over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.[7][8]
  • Hybrid embryo research: The CLC and Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) were refused permission to apply for a judicial review to overturn the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's decision to allow laboratory testing of hybrid embryos. Mrs Justice Dobbs at the High Court in London ruled that the application was "totally without merit", and ordered the CLC to pay costs amounting to some £20,000.[9]
  • Gary McFarlane, a counsellor for Relate (a relationship support charity) who was sacked after raising a possible conscionable objection to assisting same-sex couples with sexual issues. The charity admitted to a charge of wrongful dismissal, conceding that he should have been served notice instead of being fired immediately for 'gross misconduct'. Further claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of religion were dismissed.[10] His appeal against this ruling was dismissed by the High Court in April 2010.[11] A subsequent appeal to the European Court of Human Rights also ended in failure.[12]
  • Graham Cogman, a police constable from Norfolk who was sacked for sending emails to colleagues in which he quoted Bible passages condemning homosexuality and forwarded details of a group that offered to "cure" homosexuals.[13]

  • Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was supported by the CLC in an unsuccessful bid to sue the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust for discrimination because it had moved her to a desk job after she refused to remove a crucifix on a chain when asked to do so on health and safety grounds (hospital dress code prohibits front-line staff from wearing any type of necklace in case patients try to grab them).[14] The hospital had offered Chaplin a compromise of wearing her cross pinned inside a lapel or pocket. An employment tribunal ruled they acted reasonably in April 2010, rejecting Chaplin's case.[16]
    On March 28, 2010, six current and former Anglican bishops; Lord Carey of Clifton, Michael Scott-Joynt, Michael Nazir-Ali, Peter Forster, Anthony Priddis and Nicholas Reade — cited the case in an open letter to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in which they claimed to be "deeply concerned at the apparent discrimination shown against Christians".[17] Ms Chaplin eventually tried unsuccessfully to obtain a ruling against the UK government at the European Court of Human Rights.[12][16]
  • Duke Amachree, a homelessness officer who was sacked by Wandsworth Council for subjecting a client to a "30-minute barrage" of evangelism when he was simply supposed to be offering her housing advice. The client complained to the Council, leading to an investigation. The Council complained that Amachree revealed "sensitive personal information" about the client to the media, namely an interview with The Daily Mail after the CLC had become involved.[18] The CLC supported Mr Amachree in an unsuccessful legal claim for unfair dismissal, religious discrimination and breach of contract. An appeal is being considered.[19]
  • Victoria Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, head of forensic therapy at the John Howard Centre, a mental health unit of the East London NHS Foundation Trust who was suspended for "harassing and bullying" a junior Muslim colleague.[20] The Centre supported an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, where Her Honour Judge Eady QC found that Wasteney's treatment was not because of her beliefs, but because of her inappropriate behaviour and that it had nothing to do with her freedom to manifest her religious belief.[21]
  • Alfie Evans case[22]



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■ 難病の神経変性疾患で1年以上植物状態だった幼児アルフィー・エバンズちゃん=写真=が4月28日、リヴァプールの小児病院で1歳11ヵ月の若さで亡くなった。息子の回復を信じていた両親が、国を相手に、いくつもの裁判で闘っていたことからも、アルフィーちゃんの未来が世界的に注目されていた。