In an historic judgment, today a judge has ruled that the Scottish Ministers’ decision to ban and criminalise gathered church worship during the current lockdown was unconstitutional and a disproportionate interference of Article 9 ECHR rights.
The ruling is believed to be the first successful legal case against covid regulations in the UK.
Handing down judgment, Lord Braid also ruled that online worship is not real Christian worship, stating that it is not for the Scottish Ministers to: “dictate to the petitioners or to the additional party, that, henceforth, or even for the duration of the pandemic, worship is to be conducted on-line. That might be an alternative to worship but it is not worship. At very best for the respondents, in modern parlance, it is worship-lite.”
Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, 27 Scottish church leaders, from a range of Christian denominations, had brought the legal action stating that the unprecedented closures were unlawful and breached Human Rights law and the Scottish constitution.