Council To Complain After Judge Calls Its Social Workers Nazis.

“In June 2013, Munby, who was President of the Family Division at that time, reprimanded the parents in the case harshly for calling social workers Nazis, but he was also on the cusp of changing his mind about the child protection sector, forever. Just four months later, in October of that same year, he released another public judgment, in which he attacked social workers who had failed to tell parents that their children were being adopted. He went on to say that the social workers’ conduct, which included breaching a court order and blocking the family from mounting challenges to the adoptions, was ‘deplorable’ and ‘symptomatic of a deeply rooted culture in family courts’. Their conduct was also illegal. Munby’s frustration with the family justice system only deepened throughout his presidency. That concerns over the child protection sector would spill out into the criminal justice system, is not altogether unexpected.”

Researching Reform

Barnsley council has said that it will make a complaint to the Sheffield Crown Court, after one of its judges likened social workers at the local authority to Hitler’s paramilitary organization, the SS. Judge Robert Moore also called the council’s social workers ‘draconian’, after reviewing its handling of a child protection case.

The Crown Court judge was sentencing a father for harassing a school teacher, as part of a case which saw the council wrongly accuse the father of sexually abusing his daughter, and subjecting her to invasive and unnecessary medical examinations.

The grounds for the council’s complaint are not clear, though it’s unlikely that any action will stem from the grievance. Community Care followed up on the story this week, after this site published details about the case last Friday.  The online magazine also linked to our piece on the case, and quoted a selection from a judgment we…

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Social Services were like the SS of Nazi Germany

When foxes all too often run the henhouse what other words bar Draconian SS are apt to raise awareness and express public outrage?

suesspiciousminds

It won’t be the first time anyone in family cases has heard that comparison, but it is certainly the first time I’ve heard it from a Judge.

I’m very grateful to Ian from Forced Adoption for bringing this story to my attention. It arises from an appeal in Sheffield Crown Court from a criminal trial, where a father was convicted of harassing a school.

The conviction was upheld on appeal but the Judge was extremely sympathetic to the father and extremely critical of the social workers and social work that had put him in that position.

We don’t have a judgment in this case – you’d only really get a judgment in a criminal case if it was a criminal Court of Appeal decision, otherwise you just get judicial summing up and sentencing remarks, which are not generally published. I don’t know whether the Ministry of Justice will publish these…

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Liberty Safeguards – Executive usurps Court of Protection? Tail wags dog.

Quote

Liberty Safeguards- Executive usurps Court of Protection? Tail wags dog.

 

Surely there must be some safeguard/check on such a ginormous thing as the removal of any citizen of England and Wales’s legal competency?

But there isn’t.

1984-poster-3 Liberty

Our government’s proposals to rename and extend Deprivation of Liberty Orders with Liberty Protection Safeguards and create Approved Mental Capacity Practitioners will as the government state;

ensure that the design of the new system fits with the conditions of the sector, taking into account the future direction of health and social care.

Shouldn’t the government ensure that  care is fit for purpose and not merely for’the conditions of the sector’ whose overriding motivation is to make profit ?

So government ‘fits the sector’, a for profit one, by allowing it to be autonomous, self regulating and enforce the MCA.

And outsourcing LAs and NHS CCGs are given the power to remove an individual’s legal competency via a paid MCP rather than a COP judge,  to harvest those from whom corporate profit is made without independent safeguards.

Smashing Art 12 (1) European Convention on Human Rights, Art 5 Right to Liberty, Art 8 Right to Family Life. and Art 6 Right to a Fair Hearing.

So this is the Tory’s shrinking state and social conscience?

https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-be-their-voice/

With the conflicts of interests of LA and CCGs approving and paying the Mental Capacity Practitioners and commissioning the care providers.

The incomprehensibility and unworkability of the Mental Capacity Act the most draconian and only Act of its kind in the world is legendary.

And now an approved mental capacity assessor is effectively charged with enforcing it.

The MCA barely got through Parliament, even with a large Labour majority and took two years to get through the House of Lords and then was made subject to a review .

And this review was devastating.

The House of Lords Select Committee in March 2014 found
’ the poor implementation of the Act by health professionals, is to some extent, symptomatic of a wider marginalisation of mental health issues’.

The College of Social Work giving evidence that the Act was,

‘ not fully understood by professionals, as an enabling piece of legislation, while families and carers painted a depressing picture of their exclusion from decision making’.
https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/power-of-state-given-by-mental-capacity-act-05-house-of-lords-select-committee-findings/

Despite this, nothing was done to end the MCA’s illegal implementation, nor involve the family or service user, the executive merely increasing MCA ‘awareness’.

And now it appears handing its implementation to its chosen for profit service providers via their commissioners.

https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/national-mental-capacity-action-day-an-executive-subversion/

Surely there must be some safeguard/check on such a ginormous thing as the removal of any citizen of England and Wales’s legal competency?

But there isn’t.

Once a person is even suspected of being ‘incapable’, a term ever more diluted to in the Care Act  ‘difficulty making decisions’, he, nor his family can effectively apply to the Court of Protection.

An application for Guardianship is expensive, revocable and need recommendations from those caring for the suspected ‘incapable’ ie GPs , Social workers who will be part of the state private care pathway and MASH.

Powers of Attorney are being voided on the grounds of incapacity and the only representation allowed and funded is via an on message Official Solicitor.

Dols are of a precarious legal nature created in 2009 on the excuse of the incompatibility between English Common law not the MCA with Art 5 of the ECHR (right to liberty) as revealed by HL v UK.

https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/the-precarious-legal-nature-and-creation-of-deprivation-of-liberty-safeguards/

Dols do not exist under the equivalent Scottish MCA but appear now to have been made the tail that wags the MCA dog, as the numbers of Dols applications soar to 0.5% of the population.

https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/care-providers-applied-for-deprivation-of-liberty-over-0-45-of-english-citizens-with-a-380-success-increase-since-201314/

A Summary of the Law Commission’s Recommendations

http://www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk/law-commission-deprivation-of-liberty-report-the-government-responds/

5. A new system

DoLS should be replaced with Liberty Protection Safeguards. Liberty Protection Safeguards, authorisations should be in place in advance of any deprivation of liberty and should apply to those aged 16 and above and should be capable of applying in multiple settings.

So 16 to 18 year old in schools, care homes and their own home can now be made subject to huge control.

6. Authorising Liberty Protection Safeguards – Hospital trusts and CCGs should be responsible bodies as well as local authorities;

a capacity assessment, medical assessment and necessary and proportionate assessment should be completed before an Liberty Protection Safeguards assessment is authorised; authorisations are to apply for some people whose capacity fluctuates;

So the use of Dols is extended to those deemed to have ‘fluctuating’ capacity ie the epileptic, diabetic and those under the effects of medication. How does this fit with the MCA need to maximise capacity ?

and a responsible body ( LA/CCGs) should in some circumstances be able to rely on previous capacity and medical assessments.

This is in breach of MCA which states blanket capacity assessment can’t be made, as assessments must be time and decision specific.

7. Independence – Assessments should be independently reviewed and a new Approved Mental Capacity Practitioner role is to be created, and assessments should be referred to them

This new role is likely to be like AMHP  a person will be registered and trained by LA and it is a role not a job so they are most likely to be social workers either agency or employed by LA or nurse practioners employed by NHS so anything but independent as LA/CCGs are outsourcers/commissioners for private hospital/care providers.

if there is an objection to the arrangements or in “harm to others” cases.

‘Harm to others’, is a MHA sectioning requirement not an MCA one, and, it is an additional one for sectioning, not an alternative one,  suggesting MHA will be changed to an alternative requirement making it easier to  MHA section.

8. Renewals – An authorisation should last for up to 12 months, after this a responsible body should be able to renew them for up to another 12 months and then for up to three years.

So the present yearly review of Dols is removed after 2 years.

9. Advocates and Appropriate Persons – An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate should be appointed unless a person does not consent or it is not in their best interests, or if the local authority determines there is an appropriate person to support and represent the individual.

So even an incapacitated’s right to consultation via an IMCA can now removed at the behest of the state.

10. Interaction with the Mental Health Act – Liberty Protection Safeguards should not apply to arrangements in hospital currently authorised by the Mental Health Act and the government should review mental health law in England and Wales with a view to introducing a single scheme to cover non-consensual care for the treatment of both physical and mental disorders when an individual lacks the capacity to consent.
This appears to suggest the incapable will be removed from MHA to MCA for all treatment.

Appears to signal the removal of the need for MHA section, if a person lacks capacity, allowing easier detainment in mental hospitals with no right to refer to a mental tribunal. 

11. Wider Amendments to the Mental Capacity Act – Past and present wishes and feelings should be given greater weight as part of best interests decisions,

these are in any event required  by the MCA, but who checks and enforces this has happened as courts will not interfere in service provision.

the statutory defence under Section 5 of the Mental Capacity Act should not be available for certain important decisions unless written records are kept,  merely enforces documentary evidence not that the decision was reasonably required.

the Mental Capacity Act should be amended to allow emergency deprivations of liberty so liberty can be removed at any time and post factum justified

as long as a written record is provided afterwards and an individual should be able to bring civil proceeding against private care home and hospital providers if there has been an unlawful deprivation of liberty.

Who would have the locus standi to commence civil proceeding not the family only the service user and he has no capacity to litigate at best it could be through an Official Solicitor appointed by the state to sue the state.

Cause of action is practically non existent, as provided care providers/hospitals act reasonably on the balance of probabilities an action will not succeed.

And damages will be nominal, so what independent lawyer would take on such an action on a no win no fee basis and the loser would be ordered to pay huge corporate lawyers bills of both service provider and NHS/LA commission.?

This surely therefore can’t even amount to a sop to accountability.

Our Response
12. We thank the Law Commission for completing a comprehensive report into mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and we have considered their recommendations carefully.

13. We agree in principle that the current DoLS system should be replaced as a matter of pressing urgency and we have set out our provisional stance regarding each specific recommendation below.

14. We will legislate on this issue in due course. However, before the introduction of any new system, we will need to consider carefully the detail of these proposals carefully and ensure that the design of the new system fits with the conditions of the sector, taking into account the future direction of health and social care.

It is clear from the following passage from the Government’s interim Mental Health Act Review the government intend to assimilate the MHA and MCA which is not good news as the later has been shown to be unworkable

It will be necessary very carefully to consider the interface between the MHA and the MCA more widely. Should MCA concepts of Powers of Attorney, Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment, and court-appointed Deputies have a role in care governed by the MHA? Should we join up advocacy services provided by both pieces of legislation, possibly with other health advocates, to produce a unified and accredited service? Surely it should be possible to standardise the legal oversight between the Court of Protection and the Mental Health Review Tribunals so that at least issues of detention can be dealt with by the same tribunal. It may also be necessary to consider if and how their jurisdictions could be widened.
There are other areas in which we are also clear, even at this early stage, that change is

via Liberty Safeguards- Executive usurps Court of Protection? Tail wags dog.

Google and the Right to be Forgotten, Four Case Studies – My Clean Slate

“Meanwhile, the ICO have been swamped by the GDPR, including the Right to be Forgotten, and are struggling to respond within two months of each request, which means a lot of people are in limbo. It does seem, however, that they are getting increasingly frustrated by Google’s attempts to dismiss cases with stock phrases about relevant rights and interests.

In the NT1 and NT2 cases, there were no damages awarded against Google, presumably in the normally sound belief that clarity in the law would change the company’s policy. It is, however, abundantly clear that Google still has no policy except a quiet life for itself, and is only likely to react to a painful damages award. How long before another big judgment against this Goliath that will hit them where it hurts, in the pocket?”

Inforrm's Blog

When dealing with Google, it is good to bear in mind that their erasure policy is both erratic and random.  The Right to be Forgotten seems to depend on the individual who is dealing with a request and whether they have had a good or bad day.  There have been a number of odd – indeed, downright inconsistent decisions over the past six months which illustrate the problem. Learning on the job does not quite capture it.

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#MCA: #UK Govt to amend deprivation of liberty scheme to cover 16- and 17-year-olds!

Government to amend deprivation of liberty scheme to cover 16- and 17-year-oldsLuke Haynes and Mithran Samuel | Community Care | 16 Oct 2018

Minister also signals further concessions on requirement to consult person subject to deprivation of liberty and on role of care home manager

 

Photo by: nito

 

 

The government will amend its planned replacement to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) so that it applies to 16- and 17-year-olds, not just those over 18, a minister has confirmed.

Junior health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy pledged to amend the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill yesterday so that the proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards applied to young people aged 16 and 17, in a House of Lords debate on the bill yesterday (15 October).

The government had been criticised for excluding 16- and 17-year-olds from the scheme, particularly as they had been included in 2017 Law Commission proposals to replace DoLS that form the blueprint for the government’s plans.

The change was the firmest commitment to alter the bill made by O’Shaughnessy in yesterday’s debate, part of the committee stage in the Lords that involves line-by-line scrutiny of the proposed legislation.

Requirement to consult

However, O’Shaughnessy also pledged changes to address criticisms made by peers and professionals that the bill did not include an explicit requirement for a person to be consulted about proposed care arrangements that would involve a deprivation of their liberty. This is despite the fact that there are explicit requirements to consult carers, deputies, attorneys, advocates, anyone nominated by the person as a consultee and anyone interested in the person’s welfare, and that the purpose of such consultation was to ascertain the wishes and feelings of the person who would be detained.

The government has argued that the ‘anyone interested in the person’s welfare’ category includes the person who would be subject to the arrangements but the lack of an explicit requirement has caused substantial concern.

In yesterday’s debate, O’Shaughnessy said it was “essential that that person’s wishes and feelings about proposed arrangements be at the heart of the model, so we will ensure that the bill reflects this”. It is not clear as yet what this will mean in terms of amending the bill.

Despite a number of amendments having been tabled for debate yesterday, no changes were made to the bill as all amendments were withdrawn.

Care home criticisms

However, the government continued to come under significant criticism for its proposal to give care home managers responsibility for critical roles in relation to potential deprivations of liberty in their homes, including: arranging the required assessments and determining whether the three conditions for a deprivation of liberty have been met; ensuring that the necessary consultation has taken place to determine the person’s wishes and feelings; establishing whether the person is objecting to the arrangements and, therefore, whether an approved mental capacity professional (AMCP) should scrutinise the case; and determining whether the person is entitled to an advocate. They would then report on these points to the local authority who would be responsible for signing off the deprivation of liberty arrangement or not.

The plans have been criticised on several grounds:

  • that care home managers lack the requisite Mental Capacity Act knowledge to fulfil the roles and there is seemingly no budget allocated to fund the required training;
  • that care homes would lack the funding for their managers to carry out the roles;
  • that managers would face a conflict of interest in being responsible for the smooth running and financial health of the home, on the other hand, and for safeguards for individuals that may result in the home being subject to greater scrutiny and to residents moving out, on the other;
  • that the responsible local authority would not be able to identify when a care home manager’s report needed further scrutiny and when it could be simply signed off to authorise the deprivation of liberty.

In response, the government has argued that the proposals are designed to streamline the system and reduce duplication, but also sought to reassure critics by saying that care home managers would not carry out the three core assessments: whether the person had capacity to consent to their care arrangements; whether they were of ‘unsound mind’ and whether the arrangements giving rise to a deprivation of liberty were necessary and proportionate. Instead, the manager would commission them from social workers or health professionals or, as the bill allows, rely on assessments already carried out by such professionals.

Further reassurance

O’Shaughnessy sought to provide further reassurance in yesterday’s debate by suggesting the government would amend the bill to make clear that care home managers would be precluded from carrying out pre-authorisation reviews.

These are designed to assess whether the conditions for depriving a person of their liberty have been met. In cases where the person were objecting, these would be carried out by the AMCP but the bill is currently silent on who should carry out the review in other cases, besides saying that the reviewer should not be involved in providing day-to-day care or treatment to the person.

“It would not be appropriate for care home managers to complete pre-authorisation review,” said O’Shaughnessy. “I assure the committee that we will make sure that the bill reflects this.”

He said the government’s intention was that only the responsible body – a local authority in the case of care home arrangements – or an individual acting on its behalf, would carry out the pre-authorisation, and it would most probably be done by senior social workers in these cases.

Removal of ‘unsound mind’ terminology

The minister also signalled that the government would amend the bill to remove the reference to a person being “of unsound mind” as being one of the three requirements that must be met before a person is deprived of their liberty. Though this term matches that used in the European Convention on Human Rights – on which all deprivation of liberty law is based – it is widely seen as stigmatising and inappropriate. The government had previously expressed concern that changing the term would open up a gap in the law that may see some people excluded from the protection of the safeguards.

However, O’Shaughnessy said yesterday: “I know that there is a great concern that the language is inappropriate and that creating a new definition might create a gap, but, having looked at this further, we think we would be able to change this language and carry out various other work to reduce the gap to a minimum.”

He also said the government would strive to develop a definition of a deprivation of liberty – something called for by Parliament’s joint committee on human rights in a report in June – to go on the face of the bill, in regulations under the bill or in the code of practice that will be developed to accompany it.

 

SOURCE: Government to amend deprivation of liberty scheme to cover 16- and 17-year-oldsLuke Haynes and Mithran Samuel | Community Care | 16 Oct 2018

#UKSC: Conscience and cake: the final chapter!

Conscience and cake: the final chapter |  | UK HUMAN RIGHTS BLOG | 15 October 2018

Lee v. Ashers Baking Company Ltd – read judgment here.

On Wednesday the Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in the ‘gay cake’ case. The Court unanimously held that it was not direct discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or political opinion for the owners of a Northern Irish bakery to refuse to bake a cake with the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ on it, when to do so would have been contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

The judgment is a significant and welcome affirmation of the fundamental importance of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. The Court emphasised that refusing to provide a good or service to someone because they are gay (or because of any other protected characteristic) is unlawful discrimination — this judgment should not give anyone the idea that discrimination is now acceptable.

However, the Court made clear that the purpose of equality law is to protect people, not ideas, and that no-one should ever be compelled by law to make a statement or express a message with which they do not agree.

 

Background

We previously covered the original county court decision on the blog here, and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal decision here. The basic facts are as follows.

Ashers Baking Company Ltd, named after a verse in the Bible about culinary prowess and owned by a Christian couple called Mr and Mrs McArthur, runs six shops in Northern Ireland. Ashers’ shops provide a ‘Build-a-Cake’ service whereby customers can request particular images or messages to be iced onto a cake.

On 8 May 2014, Gareth Lee, a gay man who volunteers for QueerSpace (a LGBT community organisation in Belfast), ordered a cake from Ashers with an image of the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’, in order to take to a party. Although Mrs McArthur took the order without objection, in order to spare Mr Lee any embarrassment, she was uneasy about it. Over the weekend the McArthurs decided they could not in good conscience produce a cake covered in a slogan they profoundly disagreed with, and so could not fulfil the order. Mrs McArthur telephoned Mr Lee, explained their decision, apologised and gave him a refund. Mr Lee was able to get his cake made by a different baker in time for the party.

The question before the Court was whether the refusal to bake the cake amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, on on grounds of political opinion, contrary to the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998.

 

Sexual orientation discrimination

Lady Hale, who gave the judgment, zeroed in on the critical point that the McArthurs’ objection was to the message, not the messenger. They did not have any problem with Mr Lee, on grounds of his sexual orientation or anything else. It was the slogan on the cake which was the problem.

In the county court, the refusal to bake the cake had been found to be direct discrimination because support for same sex marriage was held to be ‘indissociable’ from sexual orientation. But as Lady Hale pointed out, this is a misunderstanding of ‘indissociability’. This concept comes into play where the criterion used as the reason for less favourable treatment is an exact proxy for a protected characteristic. But plenty of heterosexual people support gay marriage (and some gay people oppose it). So support for gay marriage is not an exact proxy for any particular sexual orientation.

The Court of Appeal had held that there was direct ‘associative’ discrimination, because whilst Ashers didn’t treat Mr Lee less favourably because of his ownsexual orientation, he was associated with the gay community at large, and that was enough. But the problem with that reasoning is that it was unsupported by the facts. There was no evidence that the McArthurs had ever discriminated against gay people. On the contrary, they had served gay customers and employed gay staff.

Their reason for refusing to bake the cake was simply and solely their religious belief that the only form of marriage consistent with Biblical teaching, and therefore acceptable to God, is that between a man and a woman. Moreover, associative discrimination requires a link to a particular person, not a general connection to a group or community.

So, in the end, the answer to this case on the sexual orientation discrimination point was very straightforward. As Lady Hale concluded:

Experience has shown that the providers of employment, education, accommodation, goods, facilities and services do not always treat people with equal dignity and respect, especially if they have certain personal characteristics which are now protected by the law. It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics. But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.

 

Political opinion discrimination

The rest of the UK does not have any law prohibiting discrimination on grounds of political opinion, but Northern Ireland does, because of the particular context of long-running tension between Unionists and Republicans there.

Support for gay marriage is obviously a political opinion, and so Mr Lee therefore also claimed that he was discriminated against on the basis on his political opinion. Although the bakery objected to the message not the man, there was a very close association between the political opinion of Mr Lee and the slogan on the cake, so ‘indissociability’ potentially did apply.

The Court therefore considered how Articles 9 and 10 of the ECHR affected the interpretation of the law. Lady Hale noted that to oblige a person to manifest a belief which he does not hold is an interference with his (absolute) right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion under Article 9(1), and his (qualified) freedom of expression under Article 10(1). A parallel was drawn with the jurisprudence preventing ‘compelled speech’ developed by the United States Supreme Court, built on the principle that the right to freedom of speech entails the right to refrain from speaking at all, although Lady Hale was of the view that the Strasbourg case-law contained a similar idea.

Given these ECHR protections, Lady Hale found that whilst the law prevents a business from refusing any good or service to a customer because of the customer’s political opinions, it must be read in such a way that it does not oblige anyone to express a message with which they disagree. Thus Ashers did not discriminate against Mr Lee on grounds of political opinion either.

 

Where now?

Some commentators have suggested that this judgment has introduced a new ambiguity into the law, and that there will now be a raft of cases involving business owners refusing orders for all manner of reasons. That is unlikely. The number of issues which commonly give rise to deeply-felt conscientious objections is in practice quite small — mainly, though not exclusively, around matters of sex or death. The vast majority of business transactions are entirely unaffected. In any event, the occasional refusal of an order on grounds of conscience is a small price to pay for a genuinely plural society, where people are free to believe what they want.

There might be some outstanding questions around the edges of the principles set out by the Court. Would it be discrimination for a baker to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple if he would make one for a straight couple, for instance? That issue is canvassed in a post-script to the judgment referring to the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the US, covered by this Blog here, but Lady Hale expressed no conclusion on the matter.

The case also opens up some interesting issues about the religious rights of companies. Lady Hale dealt with this very briefly, essentially deciding it was not a relevant matter because in these particular circumstances holding Ashers Baking Company Ltd not liable was the same as upholding the ECHR rights of the McArthurs. However, things could get more tricky where a bigger company is concerned, or where the company is (for instance) a charity with a religious ethos.

In general, though, this decision actually restores some much-needed clarity to the concepts of indissociability and associative discrimination, and helpfully draws a bright-line distinction between people (who are protected by equality legislation) and ideas (which are not).

Hopefully, this sensible judgment reassures gay people that any discrimination against them is wrong, whilst also reassuring religious people that their deeply held beliefs about human sexuality are legitimate and they won’t be compelled to contradict them. It is hoped that it might help encourage more mutual respect and tolerance between religious people and lesbian, gay or bisexual people (not to mention make life easier for the many people who are both religious and LGB).

gay cake.jpg

Alasdair Henderson is a barrister at One Crown Office Row.

 

SOURCE: Conscience and cake: the final chapter |  | UK HUMAN RIGHTS BLOG | 15 October 2018

Qalb-e-Saleem – A Sound Heart

“Ibrahim (Alayhis Salaam) made du`ā to Allāh Ta`ālā as follows:

وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ، يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ، إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ

And do not disgrace me on the Day they are [all] resurrected. The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who comes to Allāh with a sound heart. [Al-Shu`arā’, 26: 87-89]”

Islam Reigns

– Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb

When a person undertakes a long journey, he ensures his mode of transport is safe. If he is traveling by motor vehicle, he will have it serviced. The oil will be replaced with new oil. The plugs will be changed. The lifespan of the brake pads and discs will be assessed. These are some of the very few things that need to be checked in a service of a motor vehicle. If a person does not service his motor vehicle, in all probability he will have a break down and suffer the consequences of his negligence.

We all are travelling to the hereafter. This is a long and arduous journey. The mode of our journey in the hereafter is qalb-e-saleem.

Ibrahim (Alayhis Salaam) made du`ā to Allāh Ta`ālā as follows:

وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ، يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ، إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ…

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Time to rethink truth and trust – Sonia Livingstone

“Call it what you will – media literacy, digital literacy, critical literacy, news literacy – educational alternatives to the regulation of the digital environment are often suggested yet they rarely result in concrete policies or additional resources which actually increase the media literacy of the public.

Crucially, we cannot teach what is unlearnable and people cannot learn to be literate in what is illegible. Terms and conditions written in legalese are a case in point. Relatedly, we cannot teach people data literacy without transparency, or what to trust without authoritative markers of authenticity and expertise. So people’s media literacy depends on how their digital environment has been designed and regulated.”

Inforrm's Blog

The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission (T3) deals with the crisis in public information – aka “fake news”, Cambridge Analytica, election hacking, the crisis in journalism, filter bubbles, biased algorithms, ill-informed citizens and more.

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17 Truths about Muslim Sectarianism

MUSLIMOLOGY

17 Truths about Muslim Sectarianism

I am a traditional Sunni Muslim with love for a Sufi understanding of Islam and studying the deen. But I’ve realized when it comes to Muslims talking about religious differences, Allah subhana wa ta’ala, Rasulullah ﷺ and the Qur’an itself have usually nothing to do with the differences among Muslim (or Muslim-related groups).

So I want to identify a number of truths for whenever we talk about ‘deviant’ sects or non-Sunni groups or misguided Sunni sects or what have you.

  1. There are no first hand accounts of the so-called ‘deviant’ group. It is all second-hand and third-party stories of what every single person of this group does or secretly believes. ‘These people do this or that’ or ‘I heard for so-and-so they do this.’ Lawyers call this ‘hearsay‘ and it is not valid evidence in court. Most of these stories are…

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Researchers Discover #Neanderthal Child Was Devoured by a Giant Bird — TIME

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Researchers Discover Neanderthal Child Was Devoured by a Giant Bird | ALEJANDRO DE LA GARZA  | TIME | 15 Oct 2018

 

 

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY PHILIPPE SIUBERSKI Cave specialist Christian Casseyas shows the latest area to have been searched by archeologists as he gives a tour of the Goyet cave, where 96 bones and three teeth from five Neanderthal individuals were found, in Goyet, Belgium, on December 19, 2016. Deep in the caves of Goyet, in present-day Belgium, researchers have found the grisly evidence that the Neanderthals did not just feast on horses or reindeer, but also on each other. / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
EMMANUEL DUNAND—AFP/Getty Images

The oldest human remains discovered in Poland were found a few years ago, but it’s only recently that scientists have uncovered the unfortunate fate of the Neanderthal to whom they once belonged.

It was only this year that researchers discovered that the bones, found amid the remains of animals, actually were once those of a Neanderthal child. A Neanderthal child, it turns out, that was eaten by a giant Ice Age-era bird, reported Science in Poland.

The bones, determined to be phalanges from the child’s hand, were dotted with dozens of holes and that was the clue that led researchers to determine what happened to the body.

“Analyses show that this is the result of passing through the digestive system of a large bird,” said Prof. Paweł Valde-Nowak of the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, according to Science in Poland. His team discovered the bones in Poland’s Ciemna Cave. “This is the first such known example from the Ice Age.”

The bones are the oldest human remains ever discovered in Poland by about 50,000 years.

Scientists think that the bird may have attacked and eaten the 5 to 7-year-old child. It may also have fed on the child after it had deceased.

Science in Poland reports that the team’s identification of the bones was confirmed by two anthropologists, Dr. Anita Szczepanek of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and Prof. Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis.

The 1-centimeter long bones are poorly preserved, precluding the possibility of DNA analysis. However, the scientists are confident that they are the remains of an ancient Neanderthal child.

“We have no doubts that these are Neanderthal remains, because they come from a very deep layer of the cave, a few meters below the present surface,” said Valde-Nowak. “This layer also contains typical stone tools used by the Neanderthal.”

Though the phalanges were discovered years ago, recent detailed laboratory analysis identified the remains as human.

Up until this discovery, the oldest human remains yet discovered in Poland were three Neanderthal molars found in Stajnia Cave in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, which were estimated to be between 42,000 and 52,000 years old.

Neanderthals (Homo Neanderthalensis) a close relative of modern man (Homo sapiens) are thought to have appeared in Europe about 300,000 years ago before mostly dying out by about 35,000 years ago, according to Science in Poland.

The discovery of the child’s bones is significant for scientists seeking to learn more about ancient humans in Europe.

“We can count the Neanderthal remains found in Poland on the fingers of one hand,” said Valde-Nowak.

via Researchers Discover Neanderthal Child Was Devoured by a Giant Bird — TIME