Tag Archives: europe

Signatory to Amicus effort in Lautsi case before European Court of Human Rights (2010)

In 2010, Notre Dame Professor of Law Paolo Carozza led ‘a group of more than 50 law professors from 15 countries who have submitted written comments asking the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights to overturn a seven-judge panel’s ruling that crucifixes may not be displayed in Italian classrooms. (…)

“The challenges of religious pluralism in contemporary Europe can’t be resolved through the false premise that banning religious symbols from public spaces is somehow a ‘neutral’ position,” Carozza said. “Pluralism must be achieved through a genuine dialogue among the religious traditions of the European peoples, a dialogue that becomes impossible if the symbols representing the historic traditions of the continent are excised from public life, including education.”

Working with European colleagues, Carozza assembled a coalition of prominent legal scholars from across Europe, including former constitutional court judges from three countries, to intervene as amicus curiae in the case. The group is being represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. (…)

In their friend-of-the-court brief, the law professors argue that the panel’s ruling needlessly threatens the wide variety of religious symbols on display on public property all over Europe, including national flags, coats of arms, and public art. The professors also warn that the panel’s decision risks setting off a widespread conflict between government and religion. Given the wide diversity of religious practices across Europe, it makes little sense to try to create a secularist “common denominator.” Rather, they contend, the Court should give states substantial leeway to structure the church-state relationship in harmony with tradition, history and culture.

“One of the cornerstones of the construction of modern Europe was precisely the acceptance of a wide variety of practices regarding religion and public life in the various states of the region,” Carozza said. “The European Court of Human Rights has in its best moments been protective of that rich and important diversity of cultures among the peoples of Europe, but the Chamber in this case betrayed that ideal by imposing a very narrow and uniform model of what is required of the state.”’

Source: https://italianstudies.nd.edu/news/law-professor-carozza-organizes-amicus-effort-in-european-crucifix-case/.

You can read the brief, to which I was a signatory and which was rejected by the Court, here:

See also:

A Test of Faith? Religious Diversity and Accommodation in the European Workplace

Article in Muslim World Journal of Human Rights (2011)

Chapter in volume on Law and Religion in the 21st Century. Relations between States and Religious Communities (2010)

Chapter on ‘The Boundaries of Faith-Based Organizations in Europe’ in forthcoming Research Handbook on Law and Religion

The description of the edited volume reads as follows:

‘Offering an interdisciplinary, international and philosophical perspective, this comprehensive Handbook explores both perennial and recent legal issues that concern the modern state and its interaction with religious communities and individuals.

Providing in-depth, original analysis the book includes studies of a wide array of nation-states, such as India and Turkey, which each have their own complex issues centred on law, religion and the interactions between the two. Longstanding issues of religious liberty are explored such as the right of conscientious objection, religious confession privilege and the wearing of religious apparel. The contested meanings of the secular state and religious neutrality are revisited from different perspectives and the reality of the international human rights protections for religious freedom are analysed.

Timely and astute, this discerning Handbook will be a valuable resource for both academics and researchers interested in the many topics surrounding law and religion. Lawyers and practitioners will also appreciate the clarity with which the rights of religious liberty, and the challenges in making these compatible with state law, are presented.’

The Research Handbook, to be published with Edward Elgar in September 2018, is edited by Rex Ahdar, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, New Zealand.

My own chapter is entitled: ‘The Boundaries of Faith-Based Organizations in Europe.’

Other contributors to the volume include: R. Albert, B.L. Berger, J.E. Buckingham, P. Dane, J. Harrison, M.A. Helfand, M. Hill, A. Koppelman, I. Leigh, J. Neo, Y. Rosnai, R. Sandberg, S.D. Smith, K. Thompson and F. Venter.

See for the full table of contents, and order information:

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/research-handbook-on-law-and-religion.

See also:

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

New volume on ‘Religion and Civil Society: The Changing Faces of Religion and Secularity’

NWO to finance research project ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s’

 

Opinion Article: ‘Can Christian Democracy Save America from Trump?’

‘Religious conservatism doesn’t have to be populist. It has played an important role for democracy and dignity in Europe – and can do so in the US, too.’

The article is co-written by Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti, assistant professor of political science at the City College of New York and author of What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, lecturer in religious studies at Yale University and author of The Crisis of Secularism since 1989: A Global Perspective (Columbia University Press, forthcoming).

Read the full article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/07/christian-democracy-authoritarianism-trump

See also:

Symposium on Christian Democracy and America: ‘Can Christian Democracy Be America’s Next European Import?’

Entry on Christian Democracy in Encyclopedia of Political Thought

Canon of Dutch Christian Democracy now also available in English

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

I will be speaking on the topic of ‘Comparative Constitutional Law and Natural Law.’

The abstract reads as follows:

During the last decade or so the discipline of comparative constitutional law has experienced phenomenal growth. Handbooks in the field have become truly global in outlook.

With the globalization of comparative constitutional law, the question arises which standards should be applied to evaluate different legal arrangements? Alternatively, the field would alter into an empirical discipline that merely registers how such mechanisms differ around the globe.

In a not so distant past, it would still have made sense to use religion as a source of inspiration to evaluate different constitutional arrangements. Using faith is not an option anymore, however, as most political orders are rooted in religious cultures. Within the West, moreover, constitutionalism is increasingly separated from religion.

In the proposed paper, following the work of Santiago Legarre among others, I will suggest that the idea of natural law is a serious candidate to serve as a normative framework.

For more information on the program of the conference, see: https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/program

‘The European Academy of Religion (EuARe) is a research initiative launched under the high patronage of the European Parliament which offers an exchange platform to academies and scientific societies; associations; research centers and institutions; university labs, clusters, and departments; journals, publishers, media and scholars coming from Europe and the surrounding regions.’

See also:

Podcast of the Law and Religious Freedom Book Panel at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston, MA

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human now published

About the book:

‘In both Europe and North America it can be argued that the associational and institutional dimensions of the right to freedom of religion or belief are increasingly coming under pressure. This book demonstrates why a more classical understanding of the idea of a liberal democracy can allow for greater respect for the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The book examines the major direction in which liberal democracy has developed over the last fifty years and contends that this is not the most legitimate type of liberal democracy for religiously divided societies. Drawing on theoretical developments in the field of transnational constitutionalism, Hans-Martien ten Napel argues that redirecting the concept and practice of liberal democracy toward the more classical notion of limited, constitutional government, with a considerable degree of autonomy for civil society organizations would allow greater religious pluralism. The book shows how, in a postsecular and multicultural context, modern sources of constitutionalism and democracy, supplemented by premodern, transcendental legitimation, continue to provide the best means of legitimating Western constitutional and political orders.’

For the source, and more information also on how to order the book, see: Routledge.com or Amazon.com.

See also: Interview on project on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom’.

Article ‘This Map Of The State Of Religious Freedom Around The World Is Chilling’

From the article:

‘In many countries around the world, it remains difficult for people of all religions to practice their faith freely. And in others, it’s getting harder.

A Pew Research Center report released Tuesday shows that the number of countries with high levels of religious restrictions ― either from the government or from hostile individuals or groups ― grew overall from 34 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. (…)

Consistent with previous years, the Middle East-North Africa region had the largest percentage of governments that harassed and used force against religious groups (95 percent). European countries came in second, at 89 percent. Europe also experienced the largest increase in government harassment (rising from 17 countries in 2014 to 27 countries in 2015) and use of force against religious groups (going from 15 countries in 2014 to 24 countries in 2015). In particular, Pew pointed to France for cases where individuals were punished for wearing face coverings in public spaces and Russia for prosecuting groups for publicly exercising their religion.’

Read the whole article by Carol Kuruvilla here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pew-global-religious-restrictions_us_58ed070be4b0ca64d919ab12.

In my forthcoming book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human I write that before I left for Princeton I already had the sense that, as the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeld noted in 2012, religious freedom was globally becoming ‘a human right under pressure’. Political scientist Allen D. Hertzke, the editor of a recent volume on the future of the right to freedom of religion or belief, speaks about ‘a profound paradox of our age’, in the sense that ‘at the very time that the value of religious freedom is mounting, the international consensus behind it is weakening (…). Indeed we see not only widespread violations around the world, but looming threats in the West that jeopardize previous gains’.

This is the twelfth post in a new series introducing my new book.

For the first eleven posts, please see:

Article ‘Princeton Seminary Reforms Its Views on Honoring Tim Keller’

Yale Law Professor: ‘American courts are tackling Islamophobia – why won’t Europeans?’

Waarom de PVV niet het initiatief in de kabinetsformatie moet krijgen

New Book: ‘The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation’ (2017)

R.R. Reno on ‘Islam and America’

Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope (2017): ‘Learn How the Seeds of the Trump Presidency Were Sown in the Obama White House’

Major New Report by the National Secular Society: Rethinking Religion and Belief in Public Life

Symposium on Christian Democracy and America: ‘Can Christian Democracy Be America’s Next European Import?’

Journalist Ben Judah, Author of This is London (2016): ‘I Found Faith Everywhere’

The Washington Post on Why Religious Freedom Could Become the Major Religion Story of 2017

Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge) now available for pre-order

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement at Wageningen University & Research: ‘Religion and the Public Realm’

‘Studium Generale explores whether there is such a thing as a “religiously neutral state”. When it comes to religion, how do states’ approaches to secularization shape where “private” and “public” realms begin?

Georganiseerd door Studium Generale
Datum di 18 april 2017
Tijd 20:00
Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115
Stippeneng 2
6708 WE
Wageningen
0317 48 28 28

Where does “private” end and “public” begin when it comes to religion? To explore this, we look at how states’ approaches to secularization have been shaped. Is there such a thing as a “religiously neutral state”?  What tensions have been at the root of the way states position themselves in relation to religion in the public sphere? Dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel will draw on examples from Europe and elsewhere around the world. His accent will be on the case of Great Britain where frameworks were proposed for accommodating differences and diversity in the public realm. Taking political traditions into account, he will explore religion in the public realm from an interdisciplinary perspective.’

Source, and more information: https://www.wur.nl/nl/activiteit/SG-activity-Religion-and-the-Public-Realm-1.htm.

Lid, promotiecommissie, D. van der Blom, ‘De verhouding van staat en religie in een veranderende Nederlandse samenleving’, 6 juli 2016

Blom

‘Door sterk gewijzigde maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen is voor de verhouding van staat en religie in Nederland de laatste decennia meer publieke belangstelling ontstaan dan ooit kon worden voorzien. Daarnaast is deze belangstelling langzamerhand een vraagstuk geworden die belangrijk is voor zowel de Nederlandse samenleving als andere Europese natiestaten.’

Lees hier meer: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/onderzoek/onderzoeksoutput/rechtsgeleerdheid/de-verhouding-van-staat-en-religie-in-een-veranderende-nederlandse-samenleving.

Ph.D. Thesis Committee Member For: D. van der Blom, The Relationship between State and Religion in a Changing Dutch Society

In recent decades, the Netherlands’ struggle with multiculturalism has caused an upsurge in public interest in the relationship between state and religion. In this, the Dutch address a subject relevant not just to them, but to all of Europe.’

Read more here: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-output/law/the-relationship-between-state-and-religion-in-a-changing-dutch-society.

 

Participant, 2016 ICON∙S Conference on ‘Borders, Otherness and Public Law’

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This weekend I am attending the annual conference of the International Society of Public Law in Berlin, Germany.

You can check out the program here: https://icon-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/160616-ICON-S-PROGRAMME-DIGITAL.pdf.

The first panel was entitled ‘The Rule of Law in Europe: Structural Weaknesses in the European Legal Order’:

‘Among europe’s many crises, the “rule of law” crisis is perhaps the most destructive of europe’s common values. some Member states that met the copenhagen criteria to enter the EU would now not be admitted to the EU under those same criteria. what can european institutions do to renew commitments on the part of the Member states to these values?

The above picture was taken during the presentation by Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton).

See for blogposts on earlier ICON-S conferences:

https://hmtennapel.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2015/12/21/paper-presentation-on-the-modern-challenges-of-democracy/; and

https://hmtennapel.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2014/07/06/paper-presentation-imaginations-from-the-other-side-assessing-the-juncture-between-law-history-and-sociology-in-the-study-of-state-religion-interlocutions/.