A significant part of our output, which often receives less attention, is our submissions to Government or international bodies' consultations. A selection of these submissions can be found below.
The Law Commission is consulting on provisional proposals to reform the law governing how and where couples can get married.
The NSS is broadly supportive of the Commission's proposals. We support the shift away from a 'buildings-based' approach to marriage law to an 'officiant-based' approach; the introduction of universal civil preliminaries; relaxation of the the prohibitions of religious content in civil weddings; and the more inclusive approach to authorising what religious groups and non-religious belief groups can officiate legally-recognised weddings. Read more...
The Scottish government seeking views on the future arrangements for early medical abortion at home across Scotland.
The NSS has said the primary consideration should be the safety and welfare of women seeking abortion services. The Scottish Government should ensure all people from all backgrounds and communities can access safe, timely, non-judgmental healthcare including abortion care and sexual health counselling and treatment.
The Law Commission has proposed reform of the Communication Offences. The proposals apply to all types of communication, including public internet posts. We are concerned that the proposals are imprecise and risk creating a de facto blasphemy law by criminalising material that is offensive to religious believers.
The Law Commission have made a number of proposals for reform of hate crime laws in England and Wales. In our response, we have addressed three key issues of concern for us: Freedom of expression, the approach of using specific protected characteristics for the purposes of hate crime law, and tackling hate as extremism.
We've urged the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to ensure children's rights in the UK are not undermined by religion, in a submission to the committee as it begins its periodic examination of children's human rights in the UK.
Issues we addressed include education, forced genital cutting, and child sexual abuse in religious institutions. Read more...
Our response to a Department for Education consultation on minor changes to the School Admissions Code calls for more fundamental change to address the religious discrimination facilitated by the code.
Our response to the Children, Young People and Education Committee's consultation on the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill on legislative changes for reform of religion, values and ethics (RVE) and relationships and sexuality education (RSE), as part of the New Curriculum for Wales.
Our response to the Welsh Government's consultation on legislative changes for reform of religion, values and ethics (RVE) as part of the New Curriculum for Wales.
Our submission to the Justice Committee's call for views on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill Call for Views emphasised the need for freedom of expression, expressed concern over the proposed "stirring up" offences, and welcomed the repeal of Scotland's blasphemy laws.
We urged the UN special rapporteur on minority issues to push the UK government to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of 'caste'. We also urged the rapporteur to ensure non-religious victims of persecution worldwide are afforded equal protection to those from religious communities. Click here for more information.