Bakery's refusal to supply cake with messages supporting gay marriage not discriminatory, UK Supreme Court holds

Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd [2018] UKSC 49

In a unanimous decision, the United Kingdom Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal that found a bakery's refusal to supply a cake with the message "support gay marriage" to a gay man amounted to direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The United Kingdom Supreme Court found that the bakery's refusal was centred on promoting the message and the bakers would have come to the same decision regardless of who requested it. In the Court's opinion it did not amount to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, or religious beliefs or political opinion.

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Victorian Supreme Court finds Charter does not protect right to wear nikab in Court

The Queen v Chaarani (Ruling 1) [2018] VSC 387 (16 July 2018)

Justice Beale of the Victorian Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to an earlier order prohibiting the wearing of a nikab by a spectator during the trial of three men accused of plotting a Christmas bombing of Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD. Ms Aisha Al Qattan, the wife of one of the accused, submitted that a prohibition against wearing the nikab while in the public gallery of the court breached Ms Al Qattan's right of religious freedom and right to participate in public life. Both rights are enshrined in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights (Charter).

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Canadian Supreme Court upholds refusal of law school accreditation due to discriminatory policy

Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University 2018 SCC 32 (15 June 2018); and Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada 2018 SCC 33 (15 June 2018)

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada (“Court”) held that the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario were entitled to deny accreditation to a law school which required its students, on religious grounds, to adhere to a covenant allowing sexual intimacy only between a married man and woman.

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Supreme Court of Canada finds Quebec pay equity legislation violates Charter of Rights

Centrale des syndicats du Quebec v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2018 SCC 18

Quebec (Attorney General) v. Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la sante et des services sociaux, 2018 SCC 17

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the whether several provisions of Quebec province’s gender pay equity legislation, the Pay Equity Act 1996, were contrary to section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (addressing systemic wage discrimination against women).

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