Lillian Ladele, the Christian registrar who lost her job after refusing to conduct civil ceremonies, has been refused the right to appeal her case at the Supreme Court.
The UK’s highest court said Ladele’s situation did not raise legal points of “general public importance”. She is now considering whether to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Speaking via her lawyer, Ladele told the Daily Telegraph: “I am naturally disappointed by the Supreme Court’s rejection of my application for appeal. I am actively discussing with my lawyers the possibility of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
“When the rights of different groups clash, as they have in my case, surely there must be a proportionate attempt to balance those competing rights. In my case, one set of rights was trampled by another set of rights. That cannot be right in a free and democratic society. I believe my case raises important issues of liberty that deserve further consideration by the courts.”
Court documents state: “The court ordered that permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal.”
Ladele worked as a registrar at Islington town hall, but when civil ceremonies were introduced in 2005 she refused to conduct them, saying she believed such unions were in breach of her Christian faith.
She claimed Islington council religiously discriminated against and harassed her because of her decision. Her claims were initially upheld by the employment tribunal in 2007, but this decision was then overturned by rulings in both the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.