Ministers of Religion

Julian Rivers

in The Law of Organized Religions

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199226108
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594243 | DOI:
Ministers of Religion

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This chapter sets out the legal position of ministers of religion. It traces disputes around the nature of the legal relationship with their organization and considers forms such as office-holding, employment and independent contracting. The effect of recent judgments in Percy and Stewart is discussed and criteria proposed for the correct identification of the relationship. Exceptions in recent employment equality legislation are found to be inadequate. In particular, the narrow exception in the case of employment for the purposes of an organized religion should be treated as a full exemption and extended to all protected characteristics. Finally, diverse ways in which the law treats ministers of religion as a distinct category are considered, ranging from their use for notarial and registration functions to military exemptions and special immigration and tax status.

Keywords: ministers of religion; office-holding; employment; equality; exemption; status; immigration

Chapter.  19533 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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