ICLRS and Pardubice University sponsor “State Responses to Security Threats and Religious Diversity” in Prague, November 26–28, 2018

Pardubice University’s Department for the Study of Religions and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School co-sponsored the conference, “State Responses to Security Threats and Religious Diversity: What Future for Europe in the Beginning of the 3rd Millennium?” The conference was held in Prague, Czech Republic on November 26-28, 2018. 

The main objective of this conference was to analyze state responses to security threats and the impact this has on religious diversity in Central and Eastern Europe. Some of the questions discussed were: What is the future for religious diversity in Europe and Eastern Europe? How has European religious thinking formed our present understanding of religious tolerance…

ICLRS at the G20 Interfaith Forum 2018 in Argentina: “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future”

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at Brigham Young University Law School was represented at the 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum, held 26-28 September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Center directors, staff, and student fellows, as well as members the Center’s International Advisory Council (IAC).

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., ICLRS Founding Director and a member of the G20 Interfaith Forum’s Organizing Committee, played a key role in developing and organizing the program for the entire event, where he moderated and spoke in sessions, including leading the concluding session. Professor Durham was accompanied in Buenos Aires by Professor Gary Doxey, ICLRS Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Latin America; ICLRS Publications Director, Donlu Thayer and Communications Specialist, Blythe Shupe; IAC Chair and BYU Law School student…

The Fifth ICLARS Conference – Living Together in Diversity: Strategies from Law and Religion

The Fifth Conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) was held 12-14 September at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil. The theme of the Conference was Living Together in Diversity: Strategies from Law and Religion. ICLRS Director Brett Scharffs (a member of the ICLARS Steering Committee), Founding Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. (Past President of ICLARS), Associate Directory Gary Doxey, Senior Fellow Scott Isaacson, and Publications Director Donlu Thayer (a member of the conference…

Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere: ICLRS Cosponsors Conference at Christ Church College, Oxford

On August 3-4, 2018, ICLRS, along with The Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; The Religion, Law and International Relations Programme, Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regents Park, Oxford; and the Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government, University of Oxford Faculty of Law sponsored the conference “Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere: Founding Figures, Foundations, and the Uses of Human Dignity.” 

The conference was organized in anticipation of the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights coming up in December 2018. Speakers explored the ideas that motivated and illuminated the human rights project 70 years…

The Sixth ACLARS Conference: Law, Religion, and Human Flourishing, 20-22 May 2018

The 2018 ACLARS Conference—Law, Religion, and Human Flourishing—was held 20-22 May 2018 at Baze University in Abuja, Nigeria. Participants gathered to explore their shared interest in the relationship of law and religion to the advancement of human flourishing. The conference was co-sponsored by ACLARS (the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies), ICLARS (the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, Milan, Italy), WARCLARS (the West African Regional Center for Law and Religion Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Nigeria), and ICLRS (the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, United States).

Scharffs at 2018 Global Business & Peace Symposium, Seoul, South Korea

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was among the sponsors of the 2018 Global Business & Peace Symposium held 7-8 March in Seoul, South Korea. Center Director Brett Scharffs participated in the event, delivering a closing address. In connection with the Symposium, Professor Scharffs joined Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, as part of the Peace Delegation attending high-level meetings at the Korean National Assembly (Parliament), the Presidential Blue House, and with the Mayor of Seoul on March 7. 

Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave the keynote speech at the event, where special honors were given to business leaders who have worked to advance peace with North Korea, including some involved with the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC)…

Scharffs and Rochow at FoRB Conference in Adelaide

From 14 to 16 February 2018, Professor Brett Scharffs, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Center Senior Fellow, Neville Rochow SC, participated in a major conference in Sydney and Adelaide Australia. The conference featured leading academics and experts from Australia, the Pacific, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, addressing the conference theme: ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief: Creating the Constitutional Space for Other Fundamental Freedoms’.

The Center partnered in the conference with the University of Adelaide Law and Religion Project, Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics and Law and University of Notre Dame of Australia, Sydney School of Law. Its key organisers were Neville Rochow SC and Professor Paul Babie of the University of Adelaide. The first two days of the conference were held at the Sydney campus of the University of Notre Dame of Australia. The last day was held in the Moot Courtroom of the Adelaide Law School.

The timing of the conference came at a critical point in Australia’s constitutional history: the Australian Prime Minister has recently appointed an expert panel to report on whether and how Australia should change its laws to better allow for freedom of religion or belief. That Panel is due to report in early April 2018. The Panel approached the conference organisers to have a roundtable session on the subject with leading academics and other experts who were present at the conference. Both Professor Brett Scharffs; and Senior Fellow and Neville Rochow SC from the Center were among those specifically asked to make oral submissions to the Panel during the roundtable session. Neville Rochow was asked to make the first oral submissions at the roundtable session. Subsequently, one of the Panel members approached separately him to inquire about his experiences in the European Union with Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty. The Panel was particularly interested in Professor Scharffs’ experience in the United States and asked him to expand upon the politicisation of freedom of religion that had occurred there. 

Soon after the conference, the organisers received an invitation from the European Parliament to express interest in a research project with the European Parliament and to consider the possibility of participating with the Parliament in a conference in Brussels.

Eubank Adelaide

Sharon Eubank, Director of LDS Charities and First Counsellor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the LDS Church presented on the international charitable and emergency relief work of LDS Charities. The LDS Church gained prominence as a result of this session as a first responder and charitable partner with several other aid agencies.

The standard of presentations was extremely high. At a dedicated session held as a part of the Adelaide sessions on 16 February 2018 all in attendance agreed to produce a substantial academic book and possibly other more generally accessible publications from the papers and proceedings of the conference. 

Over the three days of the conference, the following made presentations in the sessions: 

Professor Brett Scharffs, (BYU); Professor Michael Quinlan, (Dean, Notre Dame Law School); Professor Paul Babie (University of Adelaide Law and Religion Project, Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics and Law); Professor Carolyn Evans (Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Provost, University of Melbourne); Dr Keith Thompson (Assistant Dean, Notre Dame Law School); Professor Alex Deagon (Queensland University of Technology); Archbishop Porteous (Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart); Professor Rick Sarre (University of South Australia Law School); Dr Joel Harrison (Macquarie University Law School); Dr Paul Taylor (University of Notre Dame Law School); Professor Neville Rochow SC (University of Adelaide, Australia); Professor Eugene Tan (Singapore Management University); Jessica Giles (Open University, UK); Simon McCrossan (Evangelical Alliance, UK); Professor Patrick Parkinson AM (University of Sydney Law School, Australia); Dr Jeremy Patrick (University of Southern Queensland School of Law and Justice, Australia); Reverend Peter Kurti and Bishop (retired) Robert Forsyth (respectively Senior Research Fellow and Senior Fellow, Centre for Independent Studies, Australia); Sharon Eubank (Director, LDS Charities, United States); Professor Pauline Ridge (Australian National University); Mark Fowler (University of Queensland; Notre Dame Law School, Australia); Fearghas O’Beara (Adviser to the Vice-President and Secretary-General of the European Parliament, Belgium); Professor Mark Hill QC (Cardiff, UK); A/Professor Neil Foster (University of Newcastle Law School, Australia); the Honourable Phillip Ruddock MP (Former Attorney-General; Chair of the Expert Panel, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and Panel Members Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, the Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AO, SC, and Professor Nicholas Aroney; Professor Zachary Calo (Hamid bin Khalafi University, Qatar); Joshua Forrester (Murdoch University, Australia); Professor Augusto Zimmerman (Sheridan College, Faculty of Business, Australia); Dr Ping Xiong (University of South Australia Law School); Dr Brian Adams (Director, Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University, Australia); Dr Renae Barker (University of Western Australia).

No conference of this size and importance can be a success without the contributions of many who have assisted in the planning and execution behind the scenes. Special acknowledgment and thanks go to the students and staff of each of the university law schools who worked unstintingly to ensure success. In addition, thanks go to the Andersens and Murdocks from the Auckland office of the LDS Church Area Legal Counsel, who stepped in to add to the great work of the student volunteers. The combined work of all who graciously volunteered made the conference a success.

Neville Rochow Reporting 

 

SACRALS Conference February 2018: Religio-Legal Parameters for Social Harmony

During the first three days of February 2018, the South Asia Consortium for Religion and Law Studies (SACRALS) convened the event “Religio-Legal Parameters for Social Harmony” at Hotel Sheraton New Delhi, India. Participants in the Meet included eminent scholars, jurists, and legal and interfaith leaders from the South Asia Area, with visitors from Australia and the United States. Under the direction of SACRALS Founding President Professor Dr Tahir Mahmood, meetings were held both at Hotel Sheraton and at Amity University in nearby Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The Inaugural Session of the Meet on the evening of 1 February was chaired by Professor Tahir Mahmood. Participants were welcomed by SACRALS Board of Trustees Chair Dr Saif Mahmood and heard an inaugural address by Professor Upendra Baxi, Former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University & Visiting Professor, Warrick University, UK, and…