ICLRS Announces Two New Senior Fellows: Neville Rochow SC and Hannah C. Smith

Neville Rochow

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is honored to announce that two distinguished legal professionals have accepted appointments as Senior Fellow, Australia barrister Neville Rochow SC and American advocate Hannah Clayson Smith. 

Hannah Smith brings an unparalleled interest in and a distinguished record of service to the core issues of religious liberty in the United States. She twice clerked at the US Supreme Court, for Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and between clerkships was an associate in private practice at national law firms in Washington D.C., representing clients before state and federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in civil, criminal, and constitutional cases. Most recently she served as Senior Counsel at Becket Law, where she helped secure victories in key U.S. Supreme Court religious liberty cases, including Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

Symposium 2017: “Religion and Religious Freedom in a Changing World”

The 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) was held 1-3 October 2017 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Some 100 Delegates to the 2017 Symposium were invited to discuss the conference theme — “Religion and Religious Freedom in a Changing World” — including such sub-themes as Religion and Security, Religion and Pluralism, and Religion and the Rule of Law.  

Session reports of presentations are available here, and recordings from the event are available at this link. (See recordings from Symposium 2016 here.)

The 2017 Symposium opened Sunday evening, October 1, with keynote addresses by Ján Figeľ, the European Commission’s Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union, and András Sajó, Hungarian scholar and former Judge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights. 

Each year since 1994, ICLRS has hosted a symposium devoted to the discussion of law and religion…

The Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion: Center Contributions

The publishers have announced the release of the Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion. General Editors of this five-volume work are Gerhard Robbers, Professor Emeritus at the University of Trier and formerly Minister of Justice and for Consumer Protection of Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), and W. Cole Durham, Jr,. Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at Brigham Young University and Founding Director of BYU Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Associate Editor is Donlu Thayer, the Director of Pulbications.

The editors acknowledge with deep gratitude the contribution of Ashley Isaacson Woolley, whose editorial expertise, applied to essentially every article, contributed immeasurably and essentially to the completion of the work. A number of people associated with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, in addition to Durham, Thayer, Woolley, and Robbers (who is a member…

Durham and Thayer book launches ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The publishers have announced the June 2016 release of Religion and Equality: Law in Conflict, edited by International Center of Law and Religions Studies (ICLRS) Founding Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. and ICLRS Senior Editor Donlu D. Thayer. This long-awaited book is first title in the new ICLARS Series in Law and Religion, published by Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group. Professor Durham, in addition to his role at ICLRS, is second and current President of ICLARS, the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, headquartered in Milan, Italy. The ICLARS Series will officially launch at the Fourth ICLARS Conference, to be held in Oxford, UK, in September 2016.

Religion and Equality is the first of two books with origins in the Third ICLARS Conference, held in Virginia in August 2013. A second volume from this conference,&nbsp…

ICLRS at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies participated in three sessions of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. 15-19 October 2016. W. Cole Durham, Jr., Center Director, and Brett Scharffs, Associate Director, organized these sessions to discuss religious freedom issues highlighted by Parliament organizers.

Durham moderated the panel Religion, Religious Freedom and Development, featuring the following…

Brett Scharffs at Third Yogyakarta Short Course on Sharia and Human Rights – May 2016

Center Director Brett Scharffs participated in a Short Course on “Sharia and Human Rights: Scholarly Background and Cases of Controversy in Contemporary Indonesia,” held at Universitas Gadjah Mada, one of Indonesia’s leading state universities, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from May 23-27, 2016. This was the third year Professor Scharffs helped organize and teach in this program. 

The Short Course, which was modeled on a similar course at Muhammadiyah University that was taught for the fifth time the following week, is designed to find networks of discourse between two very different types of legal systems – International Human Rights law and Islamic Law. The course brings together leading experts from Indonesia and beyond on…

Brett G. Scharffs Appointed Director of International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Outgoing BYU Law School Dean James R. Rasband announced the appointment, effective May 1, 2016, of Brett G. Scharffs as the new Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

The Center, since its beginning on January 1, 2000, has played an internationally significant role in the work of the Law School. With a mission to help secure the blessings of freedom of religion and belief for all people, Center faculty and staff, aided by hundreds of BYU law students, have worked to disseminate knowledge and expertise regarding the interrelationship of law and religion, through scholarship, network building, participation in law-reform processes, and organization and sponsorship of hundreds of conferences, at BYU and throughout the world….

Professor Scharffs Presents on Religious Majorities and Religious Freedom – May 2016

At a recent gathering of a select group of university professors, businesspeople, NGO organizations, and students in Padua, Italy on 6 May 2016, Professor Brett Scharffs made a dinner presentation and led a discussion on the topic of the role that religious majorities play in either promoting or limiting religious freedom. The presentation was organized by the Associazone Culturale Antonio Rosmini, Padova. 

In his presentation, Professor Scharffs noted that in most countries where there is a dominant religious group representing more than 70% of the population, social science research finds there is usually high or very high legal…

Professors Durham and Scharffs Teach Comparative Freedom of Religion at CEU – 2016

Professor Brett Scharffs and Professor Cole Durham, Director and Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, have concluded their annual course, Comparative Freedom of Religion, in the Department of Legal Studies at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. The class, begun by Professor Durham in April and concluded by Professor Scharffs on May 5, 2016, included 26 students from 18 different countries, and addressed law and religion issues regarding both individual freedom of religion and belief and institutional arrangements between religion and the state from an international law and comparative law perspective….

Symposium on International Religious Freedom, St. John’s College, Oxford UK – June 2016

International religious freedom experts participating in a Symposium on International Religious Freedom at St. John’s College, Oxford on 9 June 2016 were Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the Vale of Catmose, Member of the United Kingdom House of Lords and Founder/Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group; Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and formerly member and chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom; W. Cole Durham, Jr., Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and President of the International…

Freedom of Religion or Belief: Round Table Discussion in the UK House of Lords – June 2016

A Round Table Discussion, Freedom of Religion or Belief – Emerging Trends, Challenges and Agendas for Change, took place Wednesday, 8th June 2016, at the House of Lords in London. Participating in the two-hour discussion were Prof Sir Malcolm Evans OBE (Bristol University UK), Prof Mark Hill QC (Cardiff University UK), Prof Robert P. George (Princeton University USA), Elder Dallin H. Oaks (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Prof W. Cole Durham, Jr. (Brigham Young University USA), and Dr Peter Petkoff (Brunel and Regent’s Park College, Oxford UK). The participants were welcomed to Parliament by Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the Vale of Catmose, Member of the House of Lords and Founder/Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group….

First-of-its-kind Master’s Degree in Sharia and Human Rights Announced – May 2016

ICLRS Director Brett Scharffs participated in the announcement of the creation of the first-of-its-kind Master’s Degree Program on Sharia and Human Rights at Muhammadiyah University in Malang, Indonesia. The announcement came on May 30, 2016, at the opening of the fifth annual Master’s Level Course on Sharia and Human Rights held at the University, which Scharffs has helped organize and teach. The Masters’ level Course (MLC), which began five years ago as a special side-course, has now been approved as an official for-credit course in the University’s curriculum. And now a full Master’s Degree focusing on Sharia and Human Rights will build upon the curriculum used in the MLC….

BYU Law School’s Eva Brady Named Best Speaker at Moot Court Competition in Venice

The Center is pleased to announce that third-year BYU Law Student Eva Brady has been named Best Speaker at the 2016 Law and Religion Moot Court Competition, sponsored by Fondazione Marcianum and held in Venice, Italy, March 9-11, 2016. The Case for this year’s competition concerned school prayer in the light of American Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence.

Eva is from Charlottesville, Virginia. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Philosophy with a minor in Logic. and studied Spanish extensively for ten years. Before beginning law school, she served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Korean, Busan mission. As an ICLRS Student Fellow for 2014, Eva spent a summer externship in Lima, Peru, and served as a student…

G20 Interfaith Forum in Turkey: Religion, Harmony, and Sustainable Development

A Message from the Conference Conveners 

Religion plays a major role in global events, touching issues from medical ethics to cross-border conflicts to macroeconomic trends. However, religion can be misunderstood or even overlooked as a factor in world events and, thus, the contributions faith and religion make to social well-being and policies, which impact national and international communities, are often not recognized.

The 2015 G20 Interfaith Forum held in Istanbul 16-18 November. 2015 brought together scholars, lawyers and political leaders, with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue as a substantial contribution to the G20 Economic Summit. The gathering was designed to showcase the scholarly and societal contributions of various faith traditions and philosophies from around the world, and to create opportunities for communication and relationship building and raise the profile of participating communities, groups, and organizations.

Conference Convenors were

Parliamentarians Meet at Palace of Westminster to Discuss Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Steering Group of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB) met on 9 February 2016 at the Palace of Westminster, United Kingdom, to reflect on the outcomes of the New York summit that took place in September 2015 and create a roadmap for future activities of the IPPFoRB.  Hosted by Baroness Elizabeth Berridge of the House of Lords, members of the Steering Group include Abid Raja, Norwegian MP; David Anderson, Canadian MP; Leonardo Quintão, Brazilian congressman; Jose M Ibañez, Paraguayan MP; Uziel Santana, IPPFoRB Secretariat; and Knox Thames, IPPFoRB Secretariat.  David Kirkham, Senior Fellow, represented ICLRS at the meeting.  The group noted the contributions BYU and ICLRS made to the formation of the panel two years ago in Oxford. For more information on the New York summit, see the IPPFoRB news release

Brett Scharffs Speaks at St. John’s Law School Colloquium in Law and Religion

On February 1st 2016 Professor Brett Scharffs spoke at the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s Law School as part of its third biennial Colloquium in Law and Religion. This seminar invites leading law and religion scholars to make presentations to an audience of students and faculty. Professor Scharffs was the first speaker of the ongoing series.

The following was taken from an article on the Center for Law and Religion’s website:

This week, the Center hosted BYU Law School Professor Brett…

Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs Receives Delegation of US lawyers

GCRA Press Release — GCRA receives US lawyers delegation

Prof. Cole Durham, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies under Brigham Young University led a delegation to visit the Government Committee for Religious Committee (GCRA) on January 20, 2016.

Joining the US delegation included First Secretary of the United States Embassy in Hanoi David V. Muehlke, Political Officer of US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh city Garret Harkin.

Welcoming the delegation were Vice Chairman of the GCRA Bùi Thanh Hà, representatives from the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children, the Government Office, the Ministry of Justice and the GCRA Departments for International…

David Kirkham Speaks at NATO Workshop “Security and Religion” – January 2016

David Kirkham, ICLRS Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy, spoke in late January 2016 at a high-level workshop on ‘Security and Religion’ at NATO Headquarters, in Brussels. The meeting brought together leading experts and practitioners–scholars, diplomats, religious leaders, NGO representatives and others—from both sides of the Atlantic, the Western Balkans, and the Black Sea.

The workshop examined current challenges to security, with a specific focus on ‘soft security’ issues, and the cultural and religious contributions to the peaceful development of societies in the context of the ongoing Euro-Atlantic integration process. Participants began with the assumptions that the international community as a whole, and NATO as an integral part of it, faces challenges that can only be addressed by a comprehensive cooperative approach. They thus sought common ground on the values-based system served by both religious and civic communities, taking into account what are seen as the primary security issues that our societies confront.

Brett Scharffs at Notre Dame Law Review Symposium, 6 November 2015

Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Center Associate Director and Law School Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, participated the Volume 91 Symposium of the Notre Dame Law Review: Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae. The Symposium opened on November 5, 2015 with an address from Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Bishops of Brownsville, Texas, and continued on November 6 with a series of panel discussions moderated by Hon. Richard Sullivan, Southern District of New York. Professor Scharffs participated on the panel “Examining the History of Digntitatis Humanae and Religious Freedom” with Phillip Muñoz, Notre Dame Law School and Anna Su, University of Toronto Faculty…

Cole Durham Participates in “Religion, Security and Human Rights” Conference at European Parliament, 10 December 2015

The European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID) organized a conference on Human Rights Day, 10 December, 2015, titled “Religion, Security and Human Rights”. The conference, held in Brussels Belgium at the European Parliament, included speakers such as Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Kishan Manocha, Senior Advisor at OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Dr. Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General & Director of Conscience and Liberty from the Association Internationale pour la Défense de la Liberté Religieuse, Ms. Kalpna Devi, Human Rights Defender from Pakistan, and the Center’s director, Professor Cole Durham….

Sudanese Delegation Visits the Center

On December 8, 2015, a delegation of Sudanese visitors, invited to the United States under the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, visited the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. The objective of their visit was to promote religious tolerance and peaceful settlement of conflicts. Center Managing Director, Robert Smith, met with the delegation. 

Current sanctions imposed upon Sudan were the primary topic of concern. The delegates were particularly interested in discussing Professor Smith’s congressional testimony on 18 September, 2014 in which…

UN Side Event: Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

A series of events under the theme Comparative and International Perspectives against the Background of the Annual Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief was held in New York City on October 22 and 23, 2015 in connection with the delivery of the Annual Report at the United Nations by Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt.

Following the delivery on Thursday of the Report entitled “The Rights of the Child and His or Her Parents in the Area of Freedom of Religion or Belief”, a reception was held honoring Heiner Bielefeldt and discussing…

Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All: Experts Gather at Halki, 7-9 September 2015

Press Release No: 15/34 – September 2015 – Istanbul/Heybeliada

From September 7 to 9 more than 40 human rights experts from across Europe journeyed to the hilltop theological school of Halki on the Turkish island of Heybeliada. Once the heart of theological education for the Orthodox world, the school closed in 1971 as a result of a ban on private higher education in Turkey. Arriving by plane, train, and even by foot, participants discussed and debated approaches to advancing freedom of religion or belief.

Participants were drawn from CEC Member Churches, civil society, academia, and the European Institutions. Topics covered included the need for religious literacy, the role of religion in the public and political spheres, the need for greater internal and external coherence of…

Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All: Cole Durham Joins Experts in Turkey

Professor Cole Durham, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (Brigham Young University, USA), and President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (Milan, Italy) was among the Experts gathered at the Theological School Halki in Istanbul/Heybeliada, Turkey, from 6-9 September 2015, to discuss “Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All”. The conference convened under the auspices of The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), as Churches Together for Human Rights. For an account of the conference, see CEC&nbsp…

Highlighting the Peace-Making Power of Religion, Despite its Mixed Track Record – 2015

The 17th annual “Meeting of Experts,” organized by the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) met August 10-14, 2015, at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. A diverse panel of scholars, representing universities and organizations from seven countries, examined the role of religion in current global conflicts while also focusing on ways that faith can forge peace. Presenters included Robert A Seiple, current IRLA president, and Professor Cole Durham, acting in his role as President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies. You may read more about the meeting at the link below. 

Professor Scharffs: Two Indonesia Programs on Sharia and Human Rights – June 2015

In June 2015 Professor Brett Scharffs participated in two teaching programs designed to create bridges between Islamic Law and Human Rights. One program was held at a leading secular university in Yogyakarta, Gadja Mada University, and the other was at an Islamic University in Malang, Muhammadiyah University. The programs bring together experts on Human Rights and on Islamic Law with students of law, Islamic Law, sociology and history, as well as practitioners from a range of NGOs. Professor Scharffs made presentations on the history and drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and freedom of religion from a human rights perspective. The papers from the courses are being compiled into a textbook that will be published in both English and Bahasa in Indonesia next year. John Lowe, who just completed his first year at BYU Law School, also participated in the program, providing informal translation support and helping with logistics.

Brett Scharffs at Symposium in Beijing on Marxist Theories of Religion – May 2015

Dean Brett G. Scharffs, Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, participated in a Symposium on Marxist Theories of Religion sponsored by the Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on May 30-31, 2015, in Beijing. Professor Scharffs’ presentation was titled, “The Relationship of Religion and the State: The Surprising Similarities and Important Differences in the Political Philosophy of Marx and Locke.” The paper, which will be published in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Journal of the Institute of World Religions, will focus on a narrow question: How should we understand the respective views of Karl Marx and John Locke on the ideal relationship of religion and the state?

The paper focuses not on the respective views of Marx and Locke about the truth of (some) religion, its social value, or its historical prospects. Rather, it focuses on the particular issue of how the state should situate itself institutionally vis-à-vis religion. Professor Scharffs argues “that for all their differences – and they are legion – there is a surprising overlap between Marx and Locke in their thinking about the political and legal stance that the state should take towards religion as a social institution. Both argue, powerfully and unequivocally against an alignment of religion and the state, and both argue for a strong separation of religion and the state. The expectation of the ultimate outcome of this separation is different. Locke expects ‘true’ religion to flourish; Marx expects religion, stripped bare of state sanction and support, to gradually recede and perhaps disappear. But that is a question history will answer. For the state, here and now, and all the more in the ‘new normal’ of globalization and rapid social change, both would reject a management mindset and agree that the proper political stance of the state should be one of institutional and financial separation.

BYU conference explores what’s next for religious freedom

From Deseret News, Monday July 6 2015 6:40 pm MDT, updated July 7 12:45 am

PROVO — Utah lawmakers struck a compromise between anti-discrimination and religious freedom earlier this year, but left the sticky matter of public accommodations for another day. 

It is one of many issues that could arise in the near future as the tension between often competing rights continues to mount in Utah and across the country.

Cole Durham, director of the BYU International Center for Law and Religious Studies, said he would be surprised if the state didn’t address whether businesses can discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, such as bakers, florists and photographers…

Developing a Multilateral Approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A European Perspective

The Conference Developing a multilateral approach to freedom of religion or belief: a European perspective was held 9-11 February 2015 at Wiston House, Wilton Park. Wilton Park is an international forum for strategic discussion located in Sussex, United Kingdom. The Wilton Park conference was part of a larger project of transatlantic policy dialogue funded by the British Council/Luce Foundation Bridging Voices programme entitled ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and Foreign Policy: A transatlantic dialogue for a multilateral approach to religious freedom’. The first leg of will focus on the emerging European approach and the U.S./European divide, but will also starting opening up the discussion over the policy prospects of a joint…

Religion and the Secular State: National Reports

The General Reporters, Javier Martínez-Torrón of the Law Faculty of Complutense University in Madrid and Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, along with Donlu Thayer, project editor, are pleased to announce the publication in final form  (July 2015) of the National Reports prepared on this topic “Religion and the Secular State” for The 18th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, held in Washington, DC in July 2010.

The Congress is the once-every-four-years meeting of the experts of the International Academy of Comparative Law. The 18th Congress was the first of this nearly 100-year-old Academy to be held in the United States. The Reports prepared on the the topic Religion and the Secular State

Professor Scharffs Lectures on Hate Speech at the University of Padua – May 2016

On May 6th, 2016 Professor Brett Scharffs, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, spoke at a conference on Comparative Perspectives on Hate Speech, at the Treviso Campus of the University of Padua. The conference included students studying comparative public law and economic and social rights. In his speech, “Beyond Juris Centric Approaches to Hate Speech,” Professor Scharffs addressed the role that audiences play in the phenomenology of hate speech. He noted that usually hate speech does not result in direct physical harm to either the speaker or the victim of hate speech, but audiences are often provoked to violence. But it is noteworthy that often there is a significant passage of time between the initial hate speech and the violent reaction that the hate speech…

The Year in Review 2014

Newsletter 24 December 2014 

Dear Friends,

As 2014 comes to a close, we at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies look back on a busy and productive year. We are constantly conscious of how much of our success depends on collaboration with others, particularly those receiving this newsletter, and for that collaboration we express our gratitude. We are working on an annual report for 2014, which will provide a more comprehensive review of activities, but we did not want to let the Christmas and New Year’s season pass without sharing greetings and appreciation.

Most notable as we look back is the impressive series of conferences in which the Center has participated, often as a co-sponsor. In addition to our annual International Law and Religion Symposium in Provo, we participated in or co-organized more than twenty-five other conferences this year. These included conferences held on every continent except Antarctica. Particularly significant…

Symposium 2014: “Varieties of Secularism, Religion, and the Law”

The 21st annual International Law and Religion Symposium, this year featuring 80 invited delegates, from 40 countries, addressed the theme Varieties of Secularism, Religion, and the Law.” The Symposium opened Sunday evening, 5 October, with welcoming remarks by BYU Law School Dean, James R. Rasband, and President of Brigham Young University, Kevin J Worthen. The Keynote Address was given by United States Senator for Utah Orrin Hatch, who also was presented with the Center’s Distinguished Service Award, by Professor W Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

This year’s delegates included scholars, government officials, journalists, and religious and civic leaders from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United…

Robert Smith Testifies before Congress on Protecting International Religious Freedom

Thanks to the BYU Law School News Team for content of this article

Robert T. Smith, Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, testified on 18 September 2014 before the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform on the topic “Protecting International Freedom.” Mr. Smith’s testimony specifically addressed ways to improve international religious freedom through better implementation of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. With international tensions running high due to violence…

Center Honors Students for Extraordinary Service

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to present awards to ten outstanding students from the J. Reuben Clark Law School on March 26, 2014, at the Law School’s annual Barrister’s Ball.

Receiving Meritorius Service Awards for a variety of contributions to the work of the Center were Michelle Jeffs, Carl Hollan, and Eimi Priddis.  Outstanding Service Awards, recognizing three years of service to the annual International Law and Religion Symposium were presented to Cherise Bacalski, Jorge Gavilanes, Erica Berrett, Natalia Peterson, Joshua Bishop, Daniel Scow, Kia Hohaia, Michelle Jeffs, and Eimi Priddis.

Dean Brett Scharffs’ World of Law Lecture: Religious Freedom

On 5 March 2014, Dean Brett G. Scharffs presented the fifth and final lecture in the BYU Law School’s 2014 World of Law brown bag series, designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to hear top legal scholars from BYU Law School address critical issues in the world. Dean Scharffs, who is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law as well as Associate Dean of the Law School and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, spoke on Religious Freedom, outlining three ways that law students help with this important work:

  • Learning: Classes and seminars on US and international freedom of religion.
  • Advocacy: Opportunities to work on Supreme Court briefs in pending

Center Welcomes the Inaugural Class of Research Advisors

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is pleased to welcome and congratulate its inaugural class of Research Advisors—an official network for volunteers who are interested in assisting the Center on selected projects and otherwise promoting the work of the Center through building relationships with key members of the religious freedom community and awareness of religious freedom principles. Research Advisors complete a formal training curriculum and commit to a one- or two-year term. This select charter group of dedicated volunteers completed the Research Fellows’ training conducted by Gayla Sorenson during Spring of 2010, and have committed to a minimum one-year term of…

UCCD Visitors from Africa

Abbo Ahmadou, Don Yves Kisukulu, Mohamed Douhour Hersi , Antonio Serifo Embalo, Memunah Anatu Sheriff, Moses Mkandawire, Elhadj Mamadou Traore, Mme Issa Kadidiatou , Kadidiatou Boubacar Mamane, Sanoussi Tondi Abdou, Stephen Sunday Enada, Serigne Seye, Zaria Said Dunia, and S. Faith Mathe

Visitors from Jordan

Mr. Nafi Suleiman Abdelfattah Aburomman, Mr. Tariq Abed Al Nabi Mohammad Aldagamseh, Mr. Omar Ibrahim Ismail Almajali, Mr. Mohammad Attallah Ahmed Al-Theyabat, Mr. Mansour Abdulla Fayyad Altwalbah, and Mr. Mazen M A Muqbil,

Center Assists in Hosting UCCD Visitors to BYU Campus from Serbia

On 17 May 2011 ICLRS personnel assisted in hosting visitors to BYU Campus from Serbia, here as part of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) program to explore “The Role of Religion and Social Issues in the United States.”  Center leaders Bob Smith, Brett Scharffs, Gary Doxey, and David Kirkham joined Law School Professor Fred Gedicks and other scholars from across campus to welcome Mr. Adnan Ahmedi, Head, Council of the Islamic Community, Presevo; Mr. Isak Asiel, Supreme Rabbi, Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia; Mr. Drasko Denovic, Member, Church of Christ, Belgrade; Mr. Muhamed Jusufspahic, Mufti, Islamic Community of Serbia; Mr. Aleksandar Sekulic, Secretary, Office of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Church, Belgrade; Mr. Gordon Matic, English Language Officer; and Mr. Fedja Zimic, Escort Interpreter.