JFS loses Supreme Court appeal

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2009

JFS has lost its Supreme Court Appeal over its admissions procedure.

The Supreme Court judges were split 5-4 in the court’s most high-profile case since it opened.

The judges' ruling means that no faith school can have an admissions policy based on halachic status.

JFS were contesting a Court of Appeal decision made on behalf of a boy who had originally been rejected because the Chief Rabbi does not recognise his mother’s non-Orthodox conversion.

The Court of Appeal ruled that using parental descent to decide places is racial discrimination because it is based on ethnic origin — but JFS, backed by the United Synagogue, says this is a question of religious status, not race.

Both the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the British Humanist Association supported the Court of Appeal in submissions made to the Supreme Court.

Watch the video of the JFS judgement in full here.

Last updated: 1:06pm, December 16 2009