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The Center sponsors, co-sponsors, and participates in numerous conferences annually. To date (mid 2015), the Center, since its inception in 2000, has helped organize more than 300 academic conferences and workshops in approximately 50 countries. These events 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.

Image for Durham Keynote on Women's and Children's Rights Thessaloniki – June 2016

Rrofessor Cole Durham, Founding Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law, Brigham Young University, gave the keynote address gave the keynote lecture on Women’s and Children’s Rights in the International Legal Framework at the Summer School on Human Rights sponsored by the Council of European Churches (CEC) in Thessaloniki, Greece May 31-4 June, 2016. 

Press Release 6 June 2016, from CEC, Brussels: 

The Conference of European Churches, in partnership with the Theological School of Aristotle University, organised the 3rd Annual Summer School on Human Rights “Stand up for Women’s and Children’s Rights!” from 31 May to 4 June in... more

Image for Durham Keynotes at Judicial Roundtable in Abuja, Nigeria – 20 June 2016

On June 20, Professor Cole Durham gave the keynote address for a Judicial Roundtable of approximately 100 judges in Abuja, Nigeria. Among the participants in the Roundtable were Professor Is-haq Oloyede, OFR, The National Coordinator/Secretary, Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Member Steering Committee ACLARS; Wahab Shittu, Coordinator Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos; Hon. Justice Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, Justice of the Court of Appeal, Nigeria; Denise Lindberg, Senior Judge, State of Utah Third Judicial District Court; Hon. Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Representing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed; Prof Yemi Osinbajo GCON (SAN), Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Hon, Justice A. O. Lukolu-Sodipe, Court of Appeal; Malam A. U.  Maidama, representing Hon. Justice R. P. I Bozimo, Administrator, NJI; Professor Akinola Ibidapo-Obe, Dean, Faculty of Law and Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria; and a Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Nigeria.

Image for Durham at Conference and Course at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria

On June 22, 2016, Professor Cole Durham delivered the keynote address and several lectures for a conference and mini-course attended by approximately 500 students and young scholars on "Law, Religion and Development in Africa" at the University of Ilorin, in Ilorin, Nigeria. 

The topics covered during the Ilorin conference included:

  • Law and Religion Studies in Nigeria: The journey so far.
  • Law, Religion and Development.
Facilators of the event. in addtion to Professor Durham, were
... more
Image for Freedom of Religion or Belief: Round Table Discussion in the UK House of Lords - June 2016
L-R: Mark Hill QC, Sir Malcolm Evans, Professor Robert George, Dr. Peter Petkoff, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Professor Cole Durham (Photo LDS Church)

A Round Table Discussion, Freedom of Religion or Belief – Emerging Trends, Challenges and Agendas for Change, took place Wednesday, 8th June 2016, at the House of Lords in London. Participating in the two-hour discussion were Prof Sir Malcolm Evans OBE (Bristol University UK), Prof Mark Hill QC (Cardiff University UK), Prof Robert P. George (Princeton University USA), Elder Dallin H. Oaks (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Prof W. Cole Durham, Jr. (Brigham Young University USA), and Dr Peter Petkoff (Brunel and Regent’s Park College, Oxford UK). The participants were welcomed to Parliament by Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the Vale of Catmose, Member of the House of Lords and Founder/Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group.

The Round Table was organized by the Brunel Law and Religion Research Group; the Religion, Law and International Relations Programme, Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regent’s Park College, Oxford; The All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief; the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; the Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute Oxford; and the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (Milan). 

Image for Symposium on International Religious Freedom, St. John's College, Oxford UK - June 2016
Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Professor Robert George, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Professor Cole Durham (Photo LDS Church)

International religious freedom experts participating in a Symposium on International Religious Freedom at St. John's College, Oxford on 9 June 2016 were Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the Vale of Catmose, Member of the United Kingdom House of Lords and Founder/Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group; Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and formerly member and chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom; W. Cole Durham, Jr., Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and President of the International Consortium for Law and Religions Studies (Milan); Professor Nazila Ghanea, Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford, and Member, OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts... more

Image for 4th ACLARS Conference: 'Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa'

More than 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from Africa and many other parts of the world joined in the Fourth Conference of the African Consortium of Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS), held Sunday, 22 May to Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A workshop for early career scholars was held immediately prior to the conference on May 22. The theme of the conference, which was hosted by Addis Ababa University and held at the Capital Hotel, was "Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa".

Awol Wagris, Ethiopia State Minister of Federal and Pastoralist Affairs, delivered the opening speech of the conference: "Looking ahead," he said, "the greatest challenges our country faces with regard to the protection of religious freedom and promotion... more

Image for Freedom of Religion or Belief in Situations of Crisis: Tallinn, Estonia, 16-19 June 2016

The University of Tartu Faculty of Law in cooperation with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, is organizing an international conference entitled "Freedom of Religion or Belief in Situations of Crisis: Why Can’t We Get Along?" 16–19 June 2016 in Tallinn, Estonia. It is an interdisciplinary conference intended for academics, professionals and students interested in human rights issues in the current migration crisis.

During the conference there is also a session for students to introduce their work, get feedback... more

Image for The 2016 Religious Freedom Annual Review — July 2016

The 2016 Religious Freedom Annual Review of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University with take place in Provo, Utah, July 7-8. The Annual Review is open to both lawyers and nonlawyers who are interested in religious freedom challenges in the United States. In plenary sessions and workshops, experts from all over the United States will address questions such as "What is religious freedom?", "What does separation of church and state really mean?", and "How can I get involved?"

Speakers at the event will include Elder Lance B. Wickman, General Counsel and Emeritus General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Matthew S. Holland, President, Utah Valley University; Daniel I. Mark, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Villanova University and Commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF); and Hannah C. Smith, Senior Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

To register or for more information, call 1-877-221-6716 or see religiousfreedom.byu.edu. Utah Continuing Legal Education Credit will be offered. 

Image for Fourth ICLARS Conference, in Oxford: 'Freedom of/for/from/within Religion: Differing Dimensions of a Common Right?' 8-11 September 2016

The Fourth Conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) will be held at St. Hugh’s College in Oxford September 8-11, 2016. REGISTRATION for the conference is open through August 25, with discounts for ICLARS members. Lodging is available at St. Hugh's College for Conference participants, first-come, first-served, using booking code KX22467.

The Conference topic — "Freedom of/ for/ from/ within Religion: Differing Dimensions of a Common Right?" — aims at considering the fundamental right of freedom of religion from differing perspectives, shedding light on its various and interconnected facets and addressing new challenges it faces in the modern world. Freedom of religion highlights the right to profess and manifest religion on both individual and collective levels, without undue limitations; freedom for religion stresses the need to grant religious communities the freedom required to play a positive role in building a just and cohesive society; freedom from religion underlines the right to live one’s life without being compelled to respect the tenets of any particular religion; freedom within religion addresses the rights that the faithful are entitled to enjoy within their religious communities. 

For more and developing information, please see the links below.

Image for Religious Freedom and Security: Central European University, Budapest, 20-21 May 2016

The Department of Legal Studies at Central European University and the International Center of Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at Brigham Young University co-sponsored a conference in Budapest, Hungary on 20-21 May 2016. The conference titled Religious Freedom and Security explored topics such as addressing the religious factor in conflict settings, rights and security, and approaches to religion and security issues.

The conference opened with a welcome and introduction by Renáta Uitz, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law Program at CEU, followed by a keynote address by Husain Haqqani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, and currently Director for South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute, Washington DC. Professors W. Cole Durham, Jr., Founding Director, and Brett G. Scharffs, Director, represented ICLRS in... more

Image for 'Sacred Places and Cultural Heritage' — Jerusalem Conference, 15-17 March 2016

ICLRS Director, W. Cole Durham, Jr., participated in the conference “Sacred Places and Heritage Protection from the Perspectives of International, Constitutional, Religious Law and Foreign Policy” in Jerusalem, March 15-17, 2016. Based on the growing concern for cultural heritage protection during armed conflict, international experts working in the field of legal protection of sacred places and cultural heritage gathered together to explore emerging systemic problems on the ground, innovative approaches and agendas for change in terms of substantive law at the international as well as domestic level, as well as considerations for foreign policy.

The opening session, "Sacred Places and Heritage Protection: Emerging Perspectives", was moderated by Asher Maoz, Dean of Peres Academic Center Law School, and featured W. Cole Durham, President, International Consortium for Law and... more