Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division, said Britain was a ‘multicultural community of many faiths’ and that judges must take an ‘essentially neutral view of religious beliefs’ and not ‘weigh one religion against another’.
In a speech in London, he said judges ‘happily’ no longer had a role in enforcing morality, unlike in the past when they routinely condemned homosexuality, adultery and promoted Victorian social attitudes.
‘Once upon a time, the perceived function of the judges was to promote virtue and discourage vice and immorality,’ he said. ‘I doubt one would now hear that from the judicial bench.
‘Today, surely, the judicial task is to assess matters by the standards of reasonable men and women in 2013 – not by the standards of their parents in 1970.’
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