Colombia’s Constitutional Court has told a lower court judge that religious precepts cannot be used as the basis for a ruling or other decisions, issuing a directive that applies to all judicial officers in the country.

The high court said quotations from religious texts cannot be used in legal arguments or judgments to directly support the reasoning for a decision. It did say religious quotations can be used to explain a point of view.

In a directive issued in June but only made public Wednesday, the justices made a point of saying the directive was issued for a labor court judge in the southwestern city of Cali, but legal experts said Wednesday that the Constitutional Court’s findings apply to all judges and prosecutors in similar cases.

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