ICLRS Certificate Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, Held in Oxford, UK
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The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at BYU Law School in Provo, Utah, USA, launched a new program during summer 2018,  training young scholars, academics, and government officials in religion and the rule of law. The program too place at Christ Church, Oxford University from July 22 through August 10, 2018.
     International Program participants are chosen each year from human rights and comparative law backgrounds. The members of this charter class included lawyer-scholars and students from Afghanistan/Netherlands, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Greece, Israel, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
     For almost two decades, ICLRS, together with many partners, has been supporting international certificate training programs in religion and the rule of law in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nigeria. Additionally, Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs have taught courses on freedom of religion at Central European University in Budapest for many years. This is in addition to the ICLRS’s annual academic symposium at BYU Law School and the regional academic conferences the Center helps support around the world.

Juan Martin's group selfieWhat has become evident in this work is that there is a real need for a global program that will provide advanced training to early-career scholars and practitioners who are interested in law and religion, to help them learn the ropes for becoming successful international academics in this field. To that end, ICLRS has been laying the groundwork for an advanced educational program specifically for training the rising generation of scholars and leaders in the field of law and religion. This will take the form of the Oxford Advanced Certificate Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, sponsored by the Center, and organized with institutional academic and journal partners from Oxford and other parts of the world.
 
During the course participants engage in:

  • Law and religion coursework from an international law, human rights, and comparative law perspective with 6-10 of the world’s leading experts. The goal here is to help prepare participants to teach a course on law and religion adapted to local needs;
  • Training in civic engagement and law reform, helping participants develop the skills and confidence to engage in law reform efforts;
  • Intensive research and writing instruction, with the objective of completing an English-language article for publication in a scholarly journal. Online writing coursework will begin in early 2018, so participants will arrive in Oxford with their article underway, ready to present their research, receive feedback from other participants, and engage in one-on-one tutorials with professional legal writing instructors;
  • A nominating process for inclusion in regional and international learned societies in the field of law and religion. The Program will pay the first-year membership dues of successful candidates.
  • Upon completion of the Program, each participant will receive a certificate of participation, which we hope over time will become a recognized, if modest, international credential in the fields of law and religion, international human rights law, and comparative constitutional law.

It is important to note that this is not a degree or diploma program of Christ Church or Oxford University but rather an independent academic program sponsored by our Center, together with other partners and hosted in 2018 at Christ Church, which is a part of Oxford University. Participants do not receive formal academic credit, or an Oxford degree or diploma.

Oxford Program 2018