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Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Human Rights Law

Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Human Rights Law

Conscientious objection to military service is a means of resisting war and military service for reasons of conscience based on profound religious, ethical, moral, philosophical, humanitarian, or similar convictions. It generally concerns the exemption of people from fulfilling legal obligations that would necessitate a violation of their conscience, religion, or belief. The phenomenon of conscientious [...]

Navigating the Troubled Waters of Religious Accommodation

Navigating the Troubled Waters of Religious Accommodation

Recent reports concerning a situation in York University, Toronto, have reignited discussion on the complex subject of the right to religious accommodation. A male student, enrolled on an online course, requested permission from his professor to be excused from participating in group work with female students in person, citing his undisclosed religious belief as his [...]

Freedom of Religion and Belief in Turkey

Freedom of Religion and Belief in Turkey

One of the fundamental values of a democratic society is the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. From this freedom derive the concepts of pluralism, tol­erance and open-mindedness; hallmarks of a democratic society. In its religious dimension, it is a vital element of the identity of believers and their conception of life, but it is [...]

Malaysia’s Dangerous Path Towards “Allah”

Malaysia’s Dangerous Path Towards “Allah”

The Malaysian Court of Appeal has ruled recently that the word “Allah” falls unreservedly within the Muslim faith, precluding the Catholic Church in the country from using the term in its newsletter, The Herald. The appeal, which was led by the Attorney General of Malaysia on behalf of the Malaysian Government, emanated from a 2009 [...]

Religious Freedom: A 21st Century Paradigm

Religious Freedom: A 21st Century Paradigm

The Pew Research Center’s studies on global restrictions on religion have played a role in shifting discussion from the 20th century paradigm of religious freedom, which focused primarily on the types of government restrictions seen in communist countries, to a 21st century paradigm that recognizes that the actions of societal groups can affect religious freedom [...]

Taking Conscience Seriously

Taking Conscience Seriously

Ladele (see previous posts) exemplifies an important public debate: has the embrace of gay equality by the liberal state become oppressive towards free conscience rights?   The legalization of gay marriage is troubling for many and the extension of anti-discrimination norms to cover sexual orientation may force many into painful dilemmas as to how they reconcile [...]

R v D: an Imperfect, yet Promising, Approach to the Treatment of the Niqaab in Court

R v D: an Imperfect, yet Promising, Approach to the Treatment of the Niqaab in Court

Debate has recently been ignited in the UK about whether Muslim veils can be accommodated in court, stemming from Judge Peter Murphy’s decision in R v D. In her post on this blog, Prof Carolyn Evans provides a thorough overview of the judgment. In summary, the defendant, a Muslim woman, had been charged with witness intimidation. [...]

The Québec Charter of Values Project: Republican or Immigrant-phobic?

The Québec Charter of Values Project: Republican or Immigrant-phobic?

Tuesday, September 10 2013, the Government of Québec finally released its Strategy aimed at protecting the Values of the nation. It is important to say that this document is neither a bill nor a policy paper, yet. A strategy, in the new brave world of political communication, is a prompt aimed at assessing voters’ reaction [...]

Proportionality analysis after Eweida and Others v. UK: Examining the Connections between Articles 9 and 10 of the ECHR

Proportionality analysis after Eweida and Others v. UK: Examining the Connections between Articles 9 and 10 of the ECHR

Until recently, questions regarding the theory and practice of the proportionality analysis in relation to the application of Article 9 of the ECHR to individuals were largely redundant. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rarely viewed state actions towards religious citizens as constituting an interference with Article 9. It was only in 1993 that [...]

Equality v Human Rights?: Same sex marriage and religious liberty

Equality v Human Rights?: Same sex marriage and religious liberty

This is an edited transcript of an address given by Aidan O’Neill QC on Thursday 13 June 2013, at Matrix Chambers on ‘Same Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty’ Some 50 years ago, in the wake of the publication in 1957 of the Wolfenden report which advocated a decriminalization of same sex sexual acts, a public [...]

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