Circumcision in law: parents disagree

In re J

An important British case

J's father is a Turkish Muslim, his mother is British. The father wanted him brought up as a Moslen and circumcised, the mother took the father to court to prevent that, and won on both issues. Here are some significant quotes from the judgement of Wall J, delivered in England on May 6, 1999.

For all these reasons, there will be no order on the father’s application for J to be brought up as a Muslim and there will be a prohibited steps order preventing the father from arranging or permitting J to be circumcised without the leave of the High Court. I propose to invite counsel to agree the precise terms of the order.

Order accordingly. Leave to appeal granted.

Re J (child's religious upbringing and circumcision)
2, 3, 4 MARCH, 6 MAY 1999


The striking thing about this case is that all the arguments against circumcising J. would apply equally well even if both parents agreed that he should be circumcised and consequently to all cases of involuntary infant and child circumcision.


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