Each year since 1994, the Center has hosted a symposium devoted to the discussion of law and religion. By 2016, more than 1100 government, academic, and religious leaders and visitors from 124 countries had met together to discuss principles of religious liberty and to explore mechanisms to better implement these principles. Details about upcoming and past symposia may be found below and on the pages listed in the left sidebar.

  Facebook icon   Twitter icon    
Welcome to the International Law and Religion Symposium Page
Image for András Sajó and Adama Dieng to Deliver Keynote Addresses at Symposium 2017
Photo by Page Johnson

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) is honored to announce the distinguished keynote speakers for the 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium — "Religion and Religious Freedom in a Changing World" — to be held 1-4 October 2017 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. András Sajó, Hungarian scholar and former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and Adama Dieng, Senegalese jurist who is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, will speak at the opening session of the Symposium, to be held on Sunday evening, October 1, in the Moot Court Room of the J. Reuben Clark Law School. The session will be streamed live, beginning at 7 pm MST (UTC-7), to listeners worldwide. 

Due to space limitations, the Symposium is open to invited participants only. However, all plenary sessions will be streamed live, along with other breakout sessions taking place in the Moot Court Room (watch the website for the session schedule as it becomes available), and audio and video recordings of other sessions will be available... more

Image for 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: Adama Dieng Keynote Speaker
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Adama Dieng, a Senegalese jurist, was appointed as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on 1 September 2012. Prior to his appointment, he had served since 2001 as Assistant Secretary-General and Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Dieng was the Secretary General of the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists for ten years (1990-2000). During his tenure, Mr. Dieng was appointed as the United Nations Independent Expert for Haiti (1995-2000) and was also appointed as the Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General to Malawi, in 1993. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the draft African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Mr. Dieng is a former Board member of various institutions, including the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the... more

Image for 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: András Sajó Keynote Speaker

András Sajó was elected Judge on the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Hungary in February 2008. He was Vice-President of Section from 1 January 2015 to 31 July 2015, President of Section from 1 August 2015, and Vice-President of the Court from November 2015 until his retirement from the Court the end of January 2017. Judge Sajó received his law degree at the ELTE Law School of Budapest in 1972, after which he held various research fellow positions at the Institute for State and Law, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He received the PhD and Habilitation at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1977 and 1982; he was founder and spokesperson of the Hungarian League for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, Budapest, 1988-1994; Legal Counsellor to the President of Hungary, 1991-1992; Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law, University Professor, Central European University (Budapest), 1993-2007. He was named a member of the American Law Institute and the Hungarian... more

Image for Symposium 2016: Session Recordings and Photos are Available

The recordings and photos of the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, "Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World", are now available. All keynote sessions were recorded in 13 different languages and many of the breakout sessions were translated to multiple languages. Select the language by changing "English" in the upper right corner to the language of choice to filter the selections by language availability. Closed captioning is available on all English language recordings.

The recordings will appear in a slightly different format this year. Rather than... more

Image for 23rd International Law and Religion Symposium: 'Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World'

The 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University opened on Sunday evening, 2 October 2016, with an outstanding keynote address by Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Professor Cole Durham, Founding Director of the Center, presented Professor Bielefeldt with the Center's Distinguished Service Award, for his outstanding contributions.

This year's truly remarkable Symposium — "Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World" — brought together 95 invited delegates, including scholars, jurists, political and civil society leaders, and religious leaders and religion policy makers from 45 countries, providing them an important opportunity for engagement on issues of religion, law, and policy. Speakers and panelists explored the relationships among religion, pluralism, and religious rights as they addressed such issues as "Religious Rights and Culture," Exemptions, Baselines, and Discrimination: Conceptualizing Religious Rights," and "Minorities, Majorities, and Religious Rights."

... more
Image for Heiner Bielefeldt Delivers Keynote Address and Receives Service Award at Symposium 2016

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was honored to welcome Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, as the keynote speaker at the opening session of the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium on 2 October 2016. At the same meeting Professor Cole Durham presented Professor Bielefeldt with the Center's Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the interest of freedom of religion or belief worldwide.

Professor Bielefeldt was appointed to his position as Special Rapporteur on 18 June 2010, and his term of office will continue until November 1, 2016. He holds both a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tübingen and a post-doctoral... more