Oliver Hyams in Supreme Court success

In a judgment handed down today in President of the Methodist Conference v Preston [2013] UKSC 29, the Supreme Court has allowed the appeal of the Methodist Church against the decision of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court’s judgments are based in substance on the relevant key propositions which were advanced by Oliver Hyams before the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, but which both of those courts had rejected: click here for the full judgment.

The Supreme Court interpreted the constitutional documents of the Methodist Church against the background of the "fundamentally spiritual purpose of the functions of a minister of religion" (para 10), and concluded that on the facts, the parties had not intended to enter into contractual relations. The Supreme Court distinguished, on the facts, the decision of the House of Lords in Percy v National Mission of the Church of Scotland.

The case is a landmark decision on the status for the purposes of the law of unfair dismissal of ministers of religion.

To listen to Oliver's radio interview with Vivienne Nunis on The Voice of Russia, please click here.

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