Tag Archives: u.s. supreme court

Nieuwsbericht ‘Ten Napel neemt deel aan seminar over “The Value of Tradition in the Global Context”‘


Van 11-13 december 2018 was Hans-Martien ten Napel uitgenodigd om deel te nemen aan een kleinschalig seminar over bovengenoemd onderwerp. Het seminar werd georganiseerd in het kader van het ‘Tradition Project’ van St. John’s University School of Law in New York, mede georganiseerd door Villanova School of Law bij Philadelphia, PA, en vond plaats aan Università LUMSA in Rome.

Het programma opende met een openbare lezing door Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. van het United States Supreme Court. Op diens ‘keynote address’ werd gereageerd door enkele Europese hoogste rechters en de Franse politiek filosofe Chantal Delsol, auteur van o.a. La nature du populisme ou les figures de l’idiot (‘The nature of populism or the characters of the Idiot’) (2008).

De lezing van Justice Alito werd gevolgd door een viertal besloten workshops over resp. ‘Understandings of tradition in the global context’, ‘Local traditions & global government’, ‘Liberalism, populism, & nationalism’ en ‘Tradition and human rights’. Conform de ‘Chatham House Rule’ mogen er geen uitspraken worden toegeschreven aan individuele deelnemers, hetgeen een open gedachtenwisseling bevorderde.

Tot de deelnemers aan de workshops behoorden, behalve Justice Alito zelf, o.m. John McGinnis en Jide Okechuku Nzelibe (Northwestern University School of Law), Richard Garnett en Emilia Powell (Notre Dame Law School), R.R. Reno (First Things), John Tasioulas (King’s College, School of Law, London), Marco Ventura (University of Siena/Fondazione Bruno Kessler) en Adrian Vermeule (Harvard Law School).

De thematiek van het seminar sloot naadloos aan bij het onderwijs in het masterprofileringsvak Vergelijkend Constitutioneel Recht dat Hans-Martien ten Napel de afgelopen weken verzorgde en dat was gewijd aan de vraag die een onlangs verschenen bundel van ruim 40 internationale staatsrechtsbeoefenaren opwerpt: ‘Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?’. Ook in het onderzoek van Hans-Martien ten Napel staat deze vraag centraal.

Tradition Project

Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?

Onderzoek Ten Napel

Bron: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/nieuws/2018/12/hans-martien-ten-napel-neemt-deel-aan-seminar-over-the-value-of-tradition-in-the-global-context-in-rome

Upcoming meeting of the Tradition Project, Rome, December 12-13

I look forward to participating in the third session of the St. John’s Law School Center for Law and Religion’s Tradition Project, “The Value of Tradition in the Global Context,” in Rome this week.

‘December 12, 2018
9.00 – 13.00
LUMSA University – Jubilee Complex
Via di Porta Castello, 44 – Rome

LUMSA University is co-organizing and hosting two major international conferences in  November and December one dealing with fundamental rights and conflicts between rights, the other with the value of tradition in a globalised world.
The first, November 15-16, will discuss “Fundamental Rights and Conflicts Among Rights“. The second, to be held on December 12-13, The Value of Tradition in the Global Context will explore the tension  between tradition and globalisation, between identities, by their nature local, and global government, by its nature centralising. What are the understandings of tradition at the global level? How is the relationship between local traditions and global government to be construed? How does  tradition relate to liberalism, nationalism and populism? and to human rights? (…)

Keynote address: Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., United States Supreme Court
Keynote respondents: Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Dalla Torre (President Vatican State Tribunal, Emerito LUMSA University), Hon. Prof. Ugo De Siervo (Presidente Emerito della Corte costituzionale italiana), Prof. Dr. Chantal Delsol (Emérite et Membre Académie des Sciences morales et politiques), Hon. Prof. Andrès Ollero (Tribunal Constitucional de España)

Moderator: Dr. R. R. Reno, First Things

Twenty scholars in law, politics, philosophy, from Europe and the USA will then discuss the themes in four workshops upon invitation.

Workshop participants: Prof. Pasquale Annicchino (European University Institute), Prof. Richard Garnett (University of Notre Dame), Prof. Eduardo Gianfrancesco (LUMSA University), Prof. John McGinnis (Northwestern University), Prof. Fabio Macioce (LUMSA University), Prof. Anna Moreland (Villanova University), Prof. Jide Nzelibe (Northwestern University), Prof. Andrea Pin (University of Padua), Prof. Emilia Powell (University of Notre Dame), Prof. Kristina Stoeckl (University of Innsbruck), Prof.  John Tasioulas (King’s College London), Prof. Hans-Martien Ten Napel (Leiden University), Prof. Marco Ventura (University of Siena, Fondazione Bruno Kessler di Trento), Prof. Adrian Vermeule (Harvard University)

Conference Conveners: Prof. Marc O. DeGirolami (St. John’s University), Prof. Monica Lugato (LUMSA University), Prof. Michael P.  Moreland (Villanova University), Prof. Mark L. Movsesian (St. John’s University)

REGISTRATION: eventi@lumsa.it, R.S.V.P. BY DECEMBER 7, 2018

Simultaneous translation will be provided.

The Programme
The Playbill’

Source: https://www.lumsa.it/en/value-tradition-global-context.

For a podcast on the topic with Center Director Mark Movsesian and Associate Director Marc DeGirolami, see:

Legal Spirits Episode 003: Tradition in the Global Context

Guest Post: Recent Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court on Church Autonomy

By Jaco van den Brink. J. van den Brink (LLM) is attending a Master’s in Political Philosophy at Leiden University and meanwhile preparing a PhD research on religious freedom.

A couple of quite interesting judgments were issued by the ECtHR, the last two years, concerning the internal autonomy of churches. The most recent judgment was in the case Fernandez-Martinez vs. Spain (15th May 2012). The applicant was a Catholic priest, who was married and was therefore discharged by the Church authorities of the teaching activities he performed before. The question was at stake: is it primarily the state’s task to protect the employee’s position and free private-life choices, or to refrain from interfering in the appointment policies of the Church? The Court didn’t find a violation. According to Stijn Smet on http://strasbourgobservers.com/2012/05/24/fernandez-martinez-v-spain-towards-a-ministerial-exception-in-europe/ , the Court sided with the Spanish Constitutional Court in deciding that the state was not allowed to engage in this religiously inspired internal policy of the Church, without really engaging in a balancing of interests by testing the reasonability of the Church’s decision. The Court itself however, seems to suggest that it intends to perform such a test.In January of this year, the Court seemed to take quite another approach in Sindicatul "Pãstorul cel Bun" v. Romania. In this case the Court ruled that the Romanian Orthodox Church could not refuse legal acknowledgment to a kind of labor union of a certain group of clerics and lay members. The Church’s freedom of religion and association apparently did not preclude its duty to grant full associational freedom within its sphere, to all its members.

The three ‘German cases’ (September 2010, Schüth vs. Germany and Obst vs. Germany; and February 2011 Siebenhaar vs. Germany), were judged in a way that seems to be somewhere in between the two mentioned above. These cases were quite similar to Fernandez-Martinez vs. Spain, but here the Court undoubtedly engaged in a balancing of interests and judged (albeit marginally) the reasonability of the decision by the churches to end the employment contract.

These cases are often compared with the US-Supreme Court judgment in the case Hosanna-Tabor, in which case a religious teacher was dismissed by a Lutheran church. The Supreme Court -unanimously -did nothing to evaluate this church’s decision, but merely elaborated on the ‘ministerial exception’, according to the Court implicit in the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment. This principle contains that religious institutions are more or less free to make their own choices in the appointment of ‘ministers’, regardless of the employment regulation. The state therefore doesn’t have a say in such church’s internal affairs, as the Supreme Court concludes. It seems to me that this judgment goes even further in recognizing church autonomy than the ECtHR in Fernandez-Martinez vs. Spain.

To conclude, I’ll put some reasons why I’m inclined to think that the Hosanna-Tabor-type of reasoning is the most sound:

  • Much can be said in favour of the principle that the legitimacy-area of the state stops where the area of church authority begins. Churches and states both fulfil important roles in people’s lives, but their roles are very different and irreducable to each other. (By the way, such a principle would also apply to religious institutions in general, but maybe also to other civil society institutions, and perhaps even to families).

  • If the state’s competences are to be restricted this way, then indeed there is even no room for a balancing of interests in a case like Hosanna-Tabor or Fernandez-Martinez. As long as the church doesn’t interfere in the state’s prerogatives of protecting citizens against violence or other clear cases of exploitation and abuse, the church’s internal business are to be left up to the church’s proper authorities. A court which evaluates a church’s appointment decision, holds implicitly that the state has full competence to direct everything in society and is free to decide how much autonomy it is willing to grant to churches.

  • This becomes still more important when we take the religious character of churches into account, since it is not up to the state to evaluate the content of religious ethics.

  • We cannot strive towards a protection of individual autonomy, regardless what kind of institution is involved, since that would be to deny the special, indispensable role that such institutions (as collective institutions) play in human life and in society. This role is not reducable to individual choice only, and neither to the goods which the state provides.