Image for The 25th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium — Protecting Religious Freedom and Dignity: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

The 25th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) is underway at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University. Delegate participants and invited observers are meeting together to commemorate both the 25th anniversary of the Symposium and the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Space does not permit inviting the general public to the Symposium, but recordings of many sessions are made available shortly after each session concludes, and written reports and recordings of other sessions will be available soon after the Symposium's close.

See recordings of Symposium Presentations as they become available, here.

Keynote speaker at the Symposium opening sesssion on Sunday evening, 7 October was Ann Power-Forde, an Irish laywer and academic who is currently Presiding Judge at the Constitutional Court Chamber of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague and was formerly judge at the European Court of Human Rights. A keynote address by Sam Brownback, United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, was given on Monday 8 October. 

View Judge Power-Forde's keynote address here.

View Ambassdor Brownback's keynote address here.

To date, more than 1300 delegates from 125 countries have met together in these annual meetings to discuss principles of religious liberty and to explore ways to better implement these principles. This year's gathering will explore the theme "Protecting Religious Freedom and Dignity: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70." Topics for discussion by delegates will include the history and implementation of the UDHR, human dignity as a central idea of human rights, and the protection of international religious freedom and human dignity by various institutions, among... more

Image for Symposium 2018: Keynote Speaker Sam Brownback

Sam Brownback was sworn in as United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Previously he served as a U.S. Senator (1996-2011) and a U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives (1995-1996) from Kansas. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. He also served as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture (1986-1993) and was a White House Fellow in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1990-1991). Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback was a private attorney in Kansas and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University, co-authoring two books on the subject. He earned a B.S. from Kansas State University, and a J.D. from the University of Kansas.

Image for Symposium 2018: Keynote Speaker Ann Power-Forde

Ann Power-Forde SC is an International Judge, a Senior Counsel, and an Academic. She is currently the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague. She served as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights — working through French and English — from January 2008 until her final case in July 2015. A Consultant Adviser in International Human Rights Law, Ann joined Doughty Street Chambers in London as an Associate Tenant in September 2015, and she is a member of the Doughty Street International Team. She is Senior Counsel with extensive experience in Medical Law, Public Law and Constitutional Law.

As an academic, Ann has over 20 years’ experience of teaching Philosophy and Jurisprudence. She has published and presented papers on a wide range of topics — including international human rights law, bioethics, and risk management. She is a regular guest speaker at national and international conferences. ... more

Image for Symposium 2018: The Student Executive Committee

Every year a talented group of BYU Law Students devote countless volunteer hours to the success of the International Law and Religion Symposium. Under the direction of Center Associate Director Elizabeth Clark, Committee Members do everything from coordinating the complicated master schedule of all events, including the schedules of numerous delegates, to coordinating transportation of the delegates to and from the airport and various venues, and many important tasks in between. Preparation starts weeks in advance and, beginning with the arrival of the first delegate a few days before the Symposium and continuing until the last delegate departs, these students are available, working hard, and smiling. Past Symposium delegates have commented on the dedication and commitment of our Executive Committee, and we at the Center are grateful for their exemplary work. 

The Committee for the 25th Annual International Law and Religion... more