The Telegraph reports that the UKSC has refused Lillian Ladele permission to appeal against the decision in Ladele v Islington LBC [2009] EWCA Civ 1357, and that she may “try to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights, as she believes it shows that the right to religious conscience has been “trampled” by the rights of homosexuals”.

In Ladele, the Court of Appeal considered, inter alia, whether Islington was entitled to compel a registrar to register civil partnerships, even though she objected to officiating at such registrations on the grounds of her religious beliefs. The Court upheld the EAT’s decision that there had been no direct or indirect discrimination contrary to the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, whether by being designated a civil partnership registrar, by being required to officiate at civil partnerships, or by any other aspect of her treatment by Islington. In particular, the respondent’s policy to designate all their registrars as civil partnership registrars and to require all registrars to perform civil partnerships was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim within reg 3(1) of the 2003 Regulations. The Court also held that in the light of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, specifically reg 3(1), the respondents had no alternative but to insist on the registrar performing her duties.

It’s said that a Supreme Court document released on Thursday states: “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.”

Update: Similar issues were raised in the recent Court of Appeal case in Eweida v British Airways plc [2010] EWCA Civ 80, although in the context of uniform policy. In their online analysis of the case from February, Bond Pearce note that they “understand Ms Eweida to be seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court”. Although Ms Eweida also failed in her claim before the Court of Appeal, it is pointed out that  the decision “clearly leaves the door ajar for uniform policies to be challenged, not least by an employee showing (if they can) that a policy has, in fact, disadvantaged an entire group rather than just themselves”. It remains to be seen whether this will raise an issue of general public importance.