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The Employment Status of Ministers: A Judicial Retcon?

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“Retroactive continuity”, often abbreviated as “retcon”, is a term often used in literary criticism and particularly in relation to science fiction to describe the altering of a previously established historical continuity within a fictional work. To date, however, the concept has not been used in relation to law. Legal judgments often refer to history and include historical accounts of how the law has developed. Such judgments invariably include judicial interpretations of history. On occasions, they may even include a “retconned” interpretation of legal history – a “judicial retcon” – that misrepresents the past and rewrites history to fit the “story” of the law that the judge wants to give. This article explores the usefulness of a concept of a “judicial retcon” by means of a detailed case study concerning whether ministers of religion are employees.

Affiliations: 1: Head, Law Department, Reader in Law, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University WalesUnited Kingdom

10.1163/18710328-13011152
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/content/journals/10.1163/18710328-13011152
2018-03-27
2018-06-24

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