Christian Legal Centre
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Whenever you hear a media or tabloid story about someone having to remove a crucifix necklace, or being "forced" to work with gay people, or basically any story that makes it look like Britain is regularly beating up Christians and persecuting them, there's a good chance the CLC are behind the publicity. They claim to do this all in the name of "freedom of religion" but seem mostly concerned with the "freedom to bitch and moan about how freedom of religion doesn't make Christianity the dominant state religion anymore."
It is constituted as a non-profit company (i.e. not a charity, and certainly not a legal practice - and hence they are unable to act for or represent anybody in court). The main shareholder is Andrea Rose Minichiello Williams, who claims to be a barrister although the website Nearly Legal was unable to find any evidence of her registration. Most of its cases are argued in court by one man, the barrister Paul Diamond, who is himself a devout Christian.
The revenue source for the Christian Legal Centre is unclear, though connections exist with a well-funded United States organisation, the Alliance Defense Fund. The ADF and the CLC jointly set up the Wilberforce Academy in the UK aimed at training Christians for leadership roles in public life. There are suggestions it is an organisation with very little income, with almost all legal actions pursued by lawyers acting pro bono (without charging a fee). However, for a while they paid barrister Paul Diamond a retainer of £8000 per month, so they must have had money at some point - it's all very mysterious.
Doctor preached at depressed patient
A recent case involves a practice of doctors who lecture patients about Christianity. There was a complaint because a patient who is not a Christian was told about Jesus instead of getting help with depression. The patient's representative complained and the evangelist doctors say they were "persecuted" (note that depressed patients are sometimes passive and do not always have the psychological strength to say anything like, "Please, I don't want to listen to this").
Equal rights for foster carers
The Rev J. Yallop and his wife applied to be foster carers and were turned down because they explicitly refused to meet gay couples in their home in front of their own children. The local authority rejected them as foster carers and the Christian Legal Centre is taking up their case. The Rev was later jailed for molestation of a 16-year-old orphaned girl in the '80s after the victim saw news articles about the Christian Legal Centre's publicity campaign.
They were involved in supporting the parents of the child Alfie Evans in legal action against Alder Hey Children's Hospital. The doctors at the hospital felt that Alfie Evans, who had an incurable disease causing irreversible damage to his brain tissue, should be allowed to die, but his parents wanted to keep him alive as long as possible. The Solicitors Regulation Authority considered whether the Christian Legal Centre had improperly offered advice, with particular concern over the actions of Pavel Stroilov, a law student and former employee of UKIP leader Gerard Batten, who may have given legal advice on behalf of the CLC despite not actually being qualified as a lawyer. Stroilov had tried to launch a private prosecution for murder against the doctors at Alder Hey.
- Alliance Defending Freedom
- Bible Belt, for what can happen when Christians start persecuting others.
- I'm not prejudiced, but...
- Jamie Doward and Seb Wheeler. "Christian Legal Centre fights more than 50 religious discrimination cases." The Guardian. 2011 April 30.
- On the Naughty Step – the questionable ethics of the Christian Legal Centre, Giles Peaker, Nearly Legal, 28 April 2018
- Belief is not always a good thing in an advocate, Joshua Rozenberg, The Guardian, 4 May 2011
- How is the Christian Legal Centre funded?, Thinking Anglicans, 3 May 2011
- "Christian Legal Centre goes into bully mode as doctor claims religious persecution." National Secular Society. 2011 May 27.
- Tim Pearson. "Christian couple have fostering bid rejected." The Way. 2010 August.
- Blackburn vicar jailed for three years for molesting orphaned girl
- Legal watchdog may investigate Christian group over Alfie Evans case, The Guardian, May 2, 2018