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CPD: Best Interests of the Child – When Freedom of Religion and Equality Rights Collide

SOGIC is putting on a CPD event on the best interests of the child, particularly considering freedom of religion and equality rights.


June 13, 2018 at 5:30pm


  • Philip M. Epstein, Q.C., Epstein Cole LLP
  • N. Nicole Nussbaum, Barrister and Solicitor
  • Joanna Radbord, Martha McCarthy & Company LLP
  • Dr. Françoise Susset, Psychologist & Advocate, Institute for Sexual Minority Health


In questions of custody and access, how does the Court consider and weigh the impact on a child of potentially discriminatory behaviour in assessing the child’s best interests? When the potentially discriminatory behaviour is based in religious beliefs, what place does freedom of religion take?

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales recently tackled these difficult questions in Re: M (Children). In that case, the Court set aside a trial decision which denied direct contact to a transgendered father where the trial judge found that the children would be ostracised from their ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

Join our expert panel to explore this challenging decision, and how freedom of religion, human rights and equality law come into play in the analysis of the best interests of the child.