The Center sponsors, co-sponsors, and participates in numerous conferences annually. Over the past three years, the Center has helped sponsor and has participated in more than 100 conferences in all parts of the world. These conferences involve government, academic, and religious leaders, and are aimed at making a practical difference in the implementation of religious freedom principles. The Center typically partners with local and international leaders in the field, allowing for diverse viewpoints and backgrounds to be represented in each of the conferences.
An International Conference "Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa" was held at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, February 26-28, 2015. The conference was an initiative of the Centre for Human Rights of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos and Ikeja Branches); the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, South Africa, and the International Centre for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.
The Chief Host and Host of the event were the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Rahamon A. Bello, FAEng, and the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Professor Akin Ibidapo-Obe.
The conference featured renowned experts in law and religion, including Nigeria’s Supreme Court Justice, Bode Rhodes-Vivour; Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana; Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Kofi Quashigah, and Professor Cole Durham... more
Amity University India Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University USA co-sponsored an International Symposium, "Constitutional Parameters of Individual Freedom: Secularity, Public Interest & Social Reform", 8-10 November 2014 at the Hotel Taj Mahal in New Delhi.
The event opened on Saturday, November 8, with high-tea and the launch of a new book by Professor Tahir Mahmood, Reminiscing on Law Brains: Bench Bar and Academia.
Speaking at the conference were international experts... more
The conference "Religion in the Context of Globalization: Legal Aspects of the Functioning of Religious Organizations" was held in Krakow, Poland, 4-6 November 2014. The event was sponsored by the Department of History of Religions, Institute of Religious Studies, Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland); the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA); and the Coordinating Counsel for CIS and Baltic Countries on Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Religious Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine—Moscow, Russia).
The conference opened Tuesday, November... more
A Untied Nations Side Event held on October 24, 2014, and set to coincide with the Report by Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religious or Belief, was co-hosted by the United Kingdom Mission to the UN and BYU’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS). Noted authorities featured at the event included Ambassador Peter Wilson, CMG, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK Mission, Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of ICLRS and Susa Young Gates Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, along with Lucy Vickers (Oxford Brookes University), Peter Petkoff (Oxford University), Katayoun Alidade (Catholic University of Leuven / RELIGARE), Todd R. McFarland (Associate General Counsel, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), Richard T. Foltin (Director, National and Legislative Affairs at American Jewish Committee), Bobbi Nassar, UN NGO Committee on Human Rights Co-Chair, and Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Among those attending were diplomats from missions to the United Nationas and representatives from non-governmental agencies interested in fostering religious freedom globally.
For his tireless advocacy and record of legislative accomplishment, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University were pleased to present the Religious Liberty Award to retiring Congressman Frank Wolf. Throughout his 33-year career in Congress, Representative Wolf has championed efforts to alert the United States and the world to the plight of men, women, and children who are persecuted for living their religious convictions. Representative Wolf authored the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, which established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the International Religious Freedom Office at the... more
Report by Jarvis Yau
The 2014 Summer Certificate Training Program on Religion and Rule of Law was held in Beijing, China from July 28 to August 8 this year. The event was co-organized by Pu Shi Institute for Social Science, Peking University School of Law, and the Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Institute for Global Engagement have also sent representatives to provide assistance at the training program. Many prominent scholars around the world were invited to speak at the program and share the results of their research.
The training covers a wide range of topics including Religion and Education, Business and Religion Freedom, Religion in Public Life and Politics etc. Both English and Chinese versions of... more
Judge Thomas Griffith, Television Interview,
Da Nang, Vietnam, July 2014
Report Bryant Hinckley
In July 2014 the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to co-sponsor the third annual Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam. This year’s program was held in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. Da Nang is the center of commerce and education in central Vietnam. The program featured the top Vietnamese academics dealing with law and religion in their country along with many of the world’s leading academics on the topic. Judge Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Thomas Griffith D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also taught at the event. The Institute for Global Engagement, University... more
Experts on the law and religious freedom spoke at the conference, "Religious Freedom in a Secular World," at the Brigham Young University Conference Center 7-9 July 2014. This conference provided an up-to-date review of the status of laws impacting religious freedom in the United States and around the world. CLE credit was available for lawyers in attendance.
The faculty of the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and selected experts including William F. Atkin, Thomas C. Berg, Michael W. Durham, Alexander Dushku, J. Clifton Fleming, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Luke Goodrich, Brian Grim, David Hacker, Alan Hurst, Scott Isaacson, Michael A. Jensen, Richard Moon, David Moore, Steven M. Sandberg, Gene Schaerr, Robert Snyder, Lynn Wardle, Robin Fretwell Wilson, addressed the following... more
The Second Annual Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy, which took place 23-27 June 2014 at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, UK, was enjoyed by more than 100 participants and presenters from 20 countries. The summer academy is a major international event which brings together leading academics, policy makers, international officials, and practicing lawyers working in the field of law, religion, and international relations. This year's event included a number of parliamentarians and other government officials, editors of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, members of clergy, representatives of NGOs and think-tanks, academics and organizational researchers, as well as students, publishers, journalists, and other visitors.
Four keynote addresses were delivered during the Academy, by Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Member, House of Lords, and Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief of the British Parliament; Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Commissioner, United State Commission on International Religious Freedom; Professor Paul Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology... more
Report by Ryan Andersen
On June 17 through June 19, a seminar entitled "Religion in a Changing World" was held in Vladivostok, Russia. The International Center for Law and Religion at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, the Far-East Federal University’s School of Humanitarian Sciences, the Russian Association for the Study of Religion, and the Slavic Legal Center organized the event. Among those present were representatives of different faiths, local government entities, and members of the press. During the three-day seminar, round-table... more
The International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family ("IASJF") held its seventh international symposium on Monday and Tuesday, June 9-10, 2014, at the Faculty of Law, University of La Coruña, Spain. The symposium focused on "Family and Religion: Juridical Dimensions," addressing the issues related to the topic from a juridical point of view. Selected submitted papers from the 2014 Symposium will be published in the International Journal of the Jurisprudence of the Family.
The conference "Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law", featuring leading experts from Europe and North America, took place at The Temple Church in London on Saturday 7 June 2014. Conveners of the conference were Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the Temple, and Mark Hill QC, Bencher of the Inner Temple, with Professor Robert Blackburn, Kings College London. The keynote address was given by The Rt Hon. The Lord Judge of Draycote, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. The conference was followed by a participative workshop on the morning of Sunday 8 June, led by Professor David Kirkham of Brigham Young University.
The conference Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean: "The Pluralistic Moment" was held 3-5 June 2014 at Insubria University in Como, Italy. Co-sponsored by Insubria's International Center for Religion, Law and Economy in the Mediterranean Area and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, the conference aimed at investigating the role and place of religion in the present constitutional transitions in the Islamic Mediterranean area, paying special attention to experience with rule by Islamic-oriented political parties in recent transitional contexts. The effort was to analyze pressing concerns flowing from increasing pluralism for states, religions, and societies and the consequences for their normative systems.... more
As a major event of the Second Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, held at Stellenbosch University in May 2014, the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) was officially launched, with Prof dr Pieter Coertzen as President.
The folllowing ACLARS members have been named to governing committees:
- The ACLARS Steering Committee: Shawn Boshoff, Pieter Coertzen, Cole Durham, Rosalind Hackett, Mark Hill. Nico Horn, Nokuzola Mndende, Is-haq Oloyede, Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, Kofi Quashigah, Jean-Baptiste Souru, W. Silunque, Johan van der Vyver, and Francois Venter.
- The ACLARS Publications Committee: M. Christian Green, Len Hansen, Robert T. Smith, and Francois Venter.
The Second Conference on Law and Religion in Africa took place at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 May 2014. Some 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from 15 countries participated in this conference, focusing on the theme "Law and Religion in Africa – The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies."
As a major event of the conference, the new African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) was officially launched, with Prof dr Pieter Coertzen as President. Published papers from the First Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, "Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects" – which was held in Legon, Ghana, in 2013 – were made available.
The conference was opened with welcome addresses by conference organizers Pieter Coertzen and W. Cole Durham, Jr. Keynote addresses were given by Justice Albie Sachs, Emeritus Justice of the Constitutional Court... more
The conference "Varieties of Secularism" was held at Central European University in Budapest on 23-24 May 2014. The conference was co-sponsored by the CEU Legal Studies Department and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies ICLRS of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Speakers at the conference were Renata Uitz, Chair of the CEU Legal Studies Department; W. Cole Durham, Jr. and Brett G. Scharffs, ICLRS Director and Associate Director, as well as Douglas Laycock (US), Iain Benson (South Africa), Joseph David and Asher Maoz (Israel), Andrea Pin (Italy), András Sajó (Judge, European Court of Human Rights), Tahir Mahmood (India), Haldun Gulalp (Turkey), Tore Lindholm (Norway), Louis-Léon Christians (Belgium), and Jeroen Temperman (Netherlands).
Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, was the keynote speaker at a Regional consultation on Promoting the Freedom of Religion or Belief in ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 19-20 February 2014. The event was hosted by HRWG – Human Rights Working Group, a Coalition of Indonesian NGOs for International Human Rights Advocacy, in partnership with the Indonesian Representative for AICHR, Mr. Rafendi Djamin, and supported by the Canadian Government. Participants included members of AICHR, ACWC, representatives of relevant governmental agencies from ASEAN Member States, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI’s) from Indonesia and the Philippines, Think Tanks and academes, Human Rights NGOs, interfaith dialogue organizations, and religious organization from several ASEAN Member States and representatives from the diplomatic community in Jakarta.... more
Professor David Kirkham, Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, delivered the keynote address at the conference "Religion, Democracy and Law", held 15-16 January 2014 at London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. The title of Professor Kirkham's address was ‘Democracy and Religion: Happily Married or Destined for Divorce?’
Welcoming remarks at the event were given by Professor Tina Beattie, Professor of Catholic... more