The UK's 1998 Crime and Disorder Act defines "religious group":

In this section “religious group” means a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief.

It does not appear to define "religious belief" anywhere. Does anyone know if this draws on other legislation or perhaps if there is any relevant case law relevant to its definition?

1 Answer 1


This is a partial answer as it doesn't address the religious aspect.

Grainger plc v Nicholson may be of relevance. That case was about Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of religion or belief) and focussed on the belief element rather than the religion element. The court held that the following criteria must be met for something to be a belief under the ECHR:

  1. The belief is genuinely held.
  2. It is a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint.
  3. It relates to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour.
  4. It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.
  5. It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, be not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.

These are known as the Grainger criteria and are also of relevance in relation to Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010.

  • Thanks. Yes this is where I'm coming from. I've been wondering if CDA98 has not been interpreted as extending to a Grainger-compliant belief. It seems that way to me but I may be wrong.
    – geotheory
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 23:15

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