The Kirk and the Court: Why Scottish church closures were unlawful

The Scottish Court of Session ruled in favour of those who challenged the legality of the Scottish Government’s ban on public worship during the national lockdown in Scotland this year.


A coalition of 27 faith leaders, alongside Canon Tom White, challenged the proportionality of the ban in a legal action that was heard in the Scottish Court of Session on March 11 – 12.


Lord Braid ruled in the Outer House of the Court of Session that the enforced closure in January 2021 of places of worship under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No 11) Regulations 2021 had been an unjustified and disproportionate infringement of the petitioners’ rights to freedom of worship and of assembly under Articles 9(2) and 11 ECHR and were also unconstitutional.


Read a full membership briefing from the Catholic Union here: Note on Scottish worship case