ICLRS Director Cole Durham Participates in OSCE Meetings in Vienna

July 2009 – Vienna

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University Law School, was one of the principal theme introducers at the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held in Vienna, Austria on 9-10 July 2009.  Virtually all of the member states of the OSCE (“Vancouver to Vladivostok moving east”)…

Conferences in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Volgograd, Russia

October 2009 – Bratislava and Volgograd

International Center for Law and Religion Studies Associate Director Elizabeth Sewell and ICLRS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. participated in recent conferences in Slovakia and Russia respectively.  Professor Sewell presented a paper,”State Funding and Autonomy of Religious Groups,” at the conference “Financing of Churches and Religious Societies in the 21st Century,” an international conference held under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic, 14-15 October 2009 in Bratislava.  Professor Durham traveled to Volgograd, Russia, to participate in a “Dialogue between the State and Religious Associations in Contemporary

“Quietly working toward freedom” – Columnist Lee Benson on the 2009 Symposium

October 2009 – Provo

Deseret News columnist Lee Benson visited BYU Campus during the 16th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium and spoke to ICLRS Director Cole Durham and to several delegates, including the delegate from Egypt, Dr. Tayseir M. Mandour, Professor of Medicine and former Head of Department at Al-Azhar University and sole female member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and Ismail Ibrahim Malik, Chairman of the National Handicap and Vocational Government Services Program, Zambia. “If we can have peace between people of different beliefs,” Dr. Mandour told Mr. Benson,” we can then have global peace.  And that is everyone’s ultimate goal.” Mr. Benson also reports Mr. Malik’s summary of the feelings of Symposium participants: “We all realize that this is the forum where can can discuss ways to put things in perspective and move to the second level, where there is peace and unity.” To view Mr. Benson’s entire article, which appeared in the 9 October 2009 edition of the Deseret Morning News, please click the link below.

Distinguished Service Award for Religious Freedom to Judge J. Clifford Wallace

October 2009 – Provo

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is pleased to honor Senior Judge J. Clifford Wallace, Chief Judge Emeritus of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with the 2009 Distinguished Service Award for Religious Freedom, presented Sunday, October 4, during the opening session of the Sixteenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium.  “Judge Wallace has contributed to the growth of strong judiciaries in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia,” notes ICLRS Director, Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr. “He has been a remarkable judge, a remarkable friend of democracy and democratization, and a great friend of human liberty. We are grateful that we have been able to work with such a remarkable friend and supporter of the Center.  And this is part…

Freedom of Belief Seminar in Santiago, Chile

October 2009 – Santiago

ICLRS Advisors for Latin America, Gary B. Doxey (Center Associate Director) and Scott R. Isaacson (Senior Fellow and Executive Director for Latin America) will travel to Santiago, Chile, to attend an International Seminar, “Right to Freedom of Belief 10 Years after the Enactment of Law No. 19.638 [The ‘Chilean Law of Worship’] on Legal Constitution of Religious Entities.” The…

W. Cole Durham Receives International First Freedom Award

W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of ICLRS and Susa Young Gates Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, traveled to Virginia on January 15, 2009, to accept the prestigious International First Freedom Award. Each year, the Richmond-based First Freedom Center selects one recipient for each of three awards: the International First Freedom Award, the National First Freedom Award, and the Virginia First Freedom Award. These awards are intended to recognize the recipients’ work in advancing the freedom of conscience and belief, and basic human rights for people from all faiths, cultures, and traditions. Former recipients of the First Freedom awards include then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine…

Gary Doxey Returns to the Center

The Center is pleased once again to enjoy the association of former Managing Director Gary B. Doxey, recently released as President of the Mexico City South Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Professor Doxey will be be affiliated with both the Law School and the Department of History at Brigham Young University and will assume a role with the Center as an Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Latin America. Before coming to work at the Center, Professor Doxey served under Governor Olene S. Walker of Utah as chief of staff,  head of the cabinet, and chief operating officer of the executive branch. Prior to that, he served six years as general counsel to Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt.  Professor Doxey has spent much of his career in…

Center Welcomes Gayla Sorenson and Donlu Thayer

The Center is grateful for its association with Gayla Sorenson and Donlu Thayer, who have accepted roles as volunteer Senior Fellows. Gayla will be extensively involved in the design and recruitment of a volunteer network to identify and address freedom of religion issues on a country-by-country basis, with particular emphasis on a new Center project involving constitutional issues in Nepal. Donlu will assume several editorial tasks, including assisting with content management of the ICLRS websites, generating the Center’s newsletters, and undertaking projects concerning the European Court of Human Rights. Gayla and Donlu…

Elizabeth Clark Joins Slovakian Academic Board

Professor Elizabeth Clark, Associate Director of ICLRS, has agreed to join the Academic Board of the Institute for State-Church Relations in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Institute functions primarily as a think-tank, studying both new religious movements and proposals that could affect church-state relations for the government of Slovakia. The Institute also contributes to the scholarly work in this field. To see the Institute’s English-language website, click here. Upon being invited to join the Academic Board, Professor Clark declared “It’s a privilege to be associated with [the Academic Board] and an honor to be invited to serve.” Professor Sewell has contributed to several…

Center Co-sponsors “Defamation of Religions” Meeting at UN Headquarters – October 2009

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., ICLRS Director and member of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief, moderated a roundtable discussion“Defamation of Religions: The Relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion”held in the Delegates’ Dining Room at the United Nations Headquarters on 28 October 2009. The meeting was co-sponsored by NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, The BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  In addition to Professor Durham, the discussion featured Dr. Peter Petkoff of Oxford University, Nasser Weddady of the American Islamic Congress, Angela C. Wu of the Becket Fund, Suhail Khan of the Institute for Global Engagement, and Elizabeth Cassidy of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.  

Summary from the Program