Litigating Religions: An Essay on Human Rights, Courts, and Beliefs

Litigating Religions: An Essay on Human Rights, Courts, and Beliefs
Christopher McCrudden
Oxford University Press 2018

Religions are a problem for human rights, and human rights are a problem for religions. And both are problems for courts. This book presents an interpretation of how religion and human rights interrelate in the legal context, and how this relationship might be reconceived to make this relationship somewhat less fraught.
Litigating Religions, an essay adapted by Christopher McCrudden from the Alberico Gentili Lectures given at the University of Macerata, Italy, examines how the resurgent role of religion in public life gives rise to tensions with key aspects of human rights, in particular freedom of religion and anti-discrimination law, and how these tensions cannot be considered as simply transitional. 
The context for the discussion is the increasingly troubled area of human rights litigation involving religious arguments, such as wearing religious dress at work, conscientious objections by marriage registrars, admission of children to religious schools, prohibitions on same-sex marriage, and access to abortion. Christopher McCrudden argues that, if we wish to establish a better dialogue between the contending views, we must address a set of recurring problems identifiable in such litigation. To address these problems requires changes both in human rights theory and in religious understandings.
Christopher McCrudden is Professor of Human Rights and Equality Law at Queen’s University, Belfast; William W Cook Global Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School; and a practising barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London. A Fellow of the British Academy, he is the author of numerous titles, including: Buying Social Justice (OUP, 2007); Courts and Consociations: Human Rights versus Power-Sharing (OUP, 2013); and editor of Understanding Human Dignity (OUP, 2013).