The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) was pleased to welcome Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, as the keynote speaker for the Third ICLARS Conference, held in Virginia, USA, 21-23 August 2013. To an audience of some 150 conference participants and guests, Professor Bielefeldt delivered remarks entitled “Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Classical Human Right under Fire?”
Professor Bielefeldt was appointed to his United Nations post on 18 June 2013. Holding both a PhD and a post-doctoral habilitation degree in philosophy, Professor Bielefeldt teaches in the areas of political science, philosophy, law and history. From 2003-2009 he served as Director of the German Institute for Human Rights. In 2009, Bielefeldt was appointed professor in the newly created Chair of Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the University of Erlangen. He has taught at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Toronto, and at the time of his UN appointment in 2010 he was professor in the newly created Chair of Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the University of Erlangen.