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DIRECTORES
Rafael Navarro-Valls
Catedrático de Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado
Universidad Complutense

Javier Martínez-Torrón
Catedrático de Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado
Universidad Complutense

SUBDIRECTOR
Rafael Palomino Lozano
Catedrático de Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado
Universidad Complutense

SECRETARIO
Santiago Cañamares Arribas
Catedrático Acreditado de Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado
Universidad Complutense


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The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the exercise of religion in the United Kingdom. (RI §422956)  


El impacto de la pandemia de COVID-19 en el libre ejercicio de la religión en Reino Unido - Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington

The paper traces the history of the UK and the devolved governments’ responses to the COVID-19 outbreak and, in particular, their impact on the exercise of religion and the responses of faith-communities. It discusses the legal and constitutional background and the implications for the right to manifest religion or belief under Article 9 ECHR. It looks at the impact on the practice of religion of the ‘lockdown’ restrictions on places of worship and personal contacts and at the attempts of government to accommodate them, at the responses of the major faith communities and at the various pieces of legislation and guidance as lockdown eased – and was tightened again in response to a second spike in infections. It concludes with some thoughts on how the situation might develop if and when the pandemic is brought to a close and suggests that there are constitutional questions to be asked, in particular, about the UK Government’s use of emergency powers to legislate without prior approval of Parliament.

Keywords: UK; COVID-19; religion; constitutional law; Article 9 ECHR.;

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