The Role of the Church in Developing the Law
Journal of Medical Ethics 2002 August; 28(4): 215-218
The church and other community organisations have a legitimate role to play in influencing public policy. However, intervention by the church and other religious bodies in recent litigation in Australia and the United Kingdom raises questions about the appropriateness of such bodies being permitted to intervene directly in the court process as amici curiae. We argue that there are dangers in such bodies insinuating their doctrine under the guise of legal argument in civil proceedings, but find it difficult to enunciate a principled distinction between doctrine and legal argument. We advise that judges should exercise caution in dealing with amicus submissions.
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