More on Christian Institute BBC action

The Chtistian Institute’s High Court action against the BBC receives more coverage in today’s Guardian. Their attack, prompted by the broadasting of JS:TO, is two pronged:
1) That the BBC broke its royal charter by airing the show.
2) That the BBC broke article nine of the Human Rights Act

Article nine guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

This appears to be a change of focus from their original intention, which was to claim “discrimination” against Christians (discrimination is covered in Article 14).

The CI may have a chance of success regarding the charter breach, but any action based on human rights legislation must surely be laughed out of court. The fact that they can’t even settle on which article to invoke is evidence of the weakness of their case, and the CI director Colin Hart doesn’t exactly clarify things:

The BBC has a duty to uphold the convention on human rights as a public authority. Part of what we’re saying is there may be offensive things going on in West End theatres but we’re not paying for them […]
This is a denegration that’s particularly offensive because it comes from a public body. The BBC is acting as a public body so the offence is much worse.

There is nothing in Article 9, or anywhere else in the Human Rights Act, that mentions the right not to have ones beliefs “denegrated”. Colin Hart should refer to this website for consolation.
(Thanks to Flotsam for the info)
UPDATE: As Nick Barlow points out the human rights angle of this case is “either some of the worst legal advice ever received, or one of the most brazen uses of the Chewbacca defence ever attempted”.

4 Responses to “More on Christian Institute BBC action”

  1. Andy says:

    This idiot Hart seems to be saying it’s OK to have these things on in West End theatres but not on the Beeb, because we’re paying for them. Does he not realise that theatres get grants and the like from governments, quangos and local authorities? I could, anyway, argue that it’s OK for religion to be practised in churches in the West End or anywhere else, but keep religion off telly, because I’m paying my licence fee and I don’t want it. Struth! The paucity of these people’s ‘arguments’!

  2. Shau Hollingworth says:

    Aren’t they putting their charitable status at risk with such blatent political activity ?
    I have emailed the charities commission to ask them to investigate this. Promotion of their ideology through gentle persuasion is one thing, but to use charitable donations to try and persuade a court to condemn the BBC via a judical review is quite another.

  3. Dr Christopher Shell says:

    Andy is right that the distinction between tv and theatre is not that large.

  4. […] eemed to comply with broadcasting regulations. What a decadent culture we live in! As you may remember, their action was based on two grounds: the first that the BBC breached its Royal charter; t […]