Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at Brigham Young University, was installed as President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) at the Second ICLARS Conference, held 8-10 September 2011 in Santiago, Chile. Professor Durham succeeds Professor Silvio Ferrari of Università degli Studi di Milano. Professor Robert Smith, ICLRS Managing Director, serves as member of the ICLARS Secretariat.
ICLARS is an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion. It began in 2007, with the aim of providing a place where information, data, and opinions could be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community. To this end, ICLARS organizes conferences and publishes a newsletter. The First ICLARS Conference, "Law and Religion in the 21st Century: Relations between States and Religious Communities," was held in Milan in 2009; its proceedings have been published by Ashgate.
The Second ICLARS Conference, Religion and Constitution, featured speakers from South and North America, Europe, Africa, Israel, China, and Nepal. Professor Durham delivered the Conference keynote address, "Religion and the World's Constitutions" and participated, as one of the Editors-in-Chief of the newly announced Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, on the panel "Law and Religion Journals: Starting a Dialogue." Professor Brett G. Scharffs, ICLRS Associate Director, also participated in the Conference, joining Kanak Bikram Thapa of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, as a member of a panel on the topic "Religion and Equal Treatment in China and Nepal," chaired by Norberto Padilla, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. Professor Scharffs' paper was co-authored by Liu Peng of the China Academy of Social Sciences of Beijing.