Ritual Circumcision in the Family Courts: High Court Judge sets out new guidance

Mrs Justice Roberts has handed down judgment in an application brought by a Muslim father (represented by Rupert Chapman of Magdalen Chambers) to permit him to have his sons circumcised in accordance with his Muslim faith.

The Court held that there was no pressing religious or medical need for the children to be circumcised prior to reaching puberty, having heard evidence from a religious expert and from two medical experts. In the face of the mother’s objections the children’s bodily autonomy was to be respected and they should be given the opportunity to decide whether to have the operation themselves when they were old enough to do so. The judgment is significant guidance in an area where there are few recent authorities and can be found at BAILII .

The Court also considered an application for temporary removal from the jurisdiction to a number of non-Hague Convention Countries and provided a summary of the applicable law in this area, including a critical analysis of the limitations of one of the common procedures for agreeing protective orders in non-Hague Convention cases, concluding that the regime was ‘untried and untested’ in cases where there was a dispute between the parties.



Read more about Magdalen Chambers here.