Racial Discrimination vs. Religious Freedom in the JFS Decision
35 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2014 Last revised: 25 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 19, 2014
On December 18, 2009, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom rendered its judgment in the “JFS case”, related to a child who was denied priority admission at a Jewish school because of being the son of a non-Jewish mother converted through a procedure not accepted by the Orthodox Rabbinate. A lawsuit was filled calling into question the legality of the school’s admissions policy, alleging that it infringed the Race Relations Act 1976. The majority of judges, looking at the “matrilineal test”, considered that Jews are a race subject to the 1976 Race Relations Act and thus unable to establish a priority admission based upon it. This article criticizes this decision as failing to take into account its disparate impact upon freedom of religion and for being contrary to European Law.
Keywords: JFS, JFS Case, racial discrmination, religious discrimination, U.K. Supreme Court
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