Workshop Law and Religion

Date
26 June 2017
Time
10:00 – 12:00  hrs.
Address
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room
A014

On June 26th, a small workshop on comparative law & religion will take place with Dr. Jaclyn Neo (National University of Singapore, Law School). Jaclyn is a very well-published scholar in the field of comparative public law and human rights, particularly in the field of law and religion (see bio below). She studied at Yale Law School (LLM, JSD) and she is an Assistant Professor of Public Law at the National University of Singapore. She is an innovative thinker and a wonderful speaker. On June 26, Jaclyn will present one of her most recent papers and engage with  her audience’s questions. Hans-Martien Ten Napel will act as discussant and Sofia Fernandes Da Silva Ranchordás will chair the workshop. Both colleagues and students are welcome!

You can register for the workshop by sending an email to Sofia, preferably by June 10. Should you be interested in presenting a recent paper, pitching your PhD research or discussing a new research idea on law and religion or freedom of expression so as to receive some feedback from an expert in this field, please let Sofia know. Due to time constraints, only 2-3 additional presentations can be accepted.

Source: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2017/06/workshop-law-and-religion.

See also:

International Conference on “The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics in Transition”;

Blogpost ‘Religious Freedom, Eastern Ethical Monism, and Western “Civic Totalism”‘.

Redactioneel ‘Religie en de rule of law’

TvRRB_2013_04_02_omslag.indd

Voor een overzicht van de inhoud van de derde aflevering van 2016 van het Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid, zie:

http://www.bjutijdschriften.nl//tijdschrift/religierechtenbeleid/2016/3.

De aflevering bevat boeiende bijdragen over onder meer ‘Veranderende visies op religieuze vrijheid in Nederland en Europa’, de esthetica van het recht en de recente uitspraak van de hoogste bestuursrechter in Frankrijk die het boerkiniverbod strijdig achtte met grondrechten.

Het redactioneel van mijn hand is gewijd aan het onderwerp ‘Religie en de rule of law’ en stelt de navolgende thematiek aan de orde:

‘Democratie en rechtsstaat vormen de pijlers van de democratische rechtsstaat. In Overwegende “Hoe kan het democratisch ethos worden bevorderd?” van aflevering 2015/3 van dit tijdschrift beschreef ik enkele mogelijke zorgen ten aanzien van de democratie. Ook met de rechtsstaat, hier als synoniem gebruikt voor rule of law, is het echter niet bijzonder rooskleurig gesteld. (…)

In relatief korte tijd lijkt de rule of law zich te ontwikkelen van een van de wereldwijd breedst gedragen idealen tot een principe dat in crisis verkeert. Het heeft er veel van weg dat de rechtsstaat hiermee wordt meegesleept in het lot van de filosofie van het liberalisme, waaruit hij deels is voortgekomen. (…)

De vraag is of er bij dit alles een relatie met religie bestaat.’

Lees (wanneer u of uw instelling toegang heeft tot het portal) verder onder bovenstaande link. Zie verder https://hmtennapel.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2016/03/07/redactioneel-hoe-kan-het-democratisch-ethos-worden-bevorderd/.

Paper Presentation during Journal of Law, Religion & State International Conference on ‘The Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives’, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, 20-22 November 2016

logo260x260Enthumbnail_photo1thumbnail_photo2

For the program of the conference, see:

The call for papers for the conference can be found here:

http://www.ssrn.com/update/lsn/lsnann/ann16021.html.

The original paper proposal which I submitted, read as follows:

Christianity, Liberalism, and the Rule of Law

During the last decade or so the discipline of constitutional law has changed considerably. It has become more comparative, interdisciplinary and theoretical. What has not happened yet, however, is that constitutional lawyers have become more (openly) aware of their philosophical presuppositions. Thus, it is still commonplace for central concepts of the discipline, such as the rule of law, to be treated as if they do not at least partly have their historical roots in religions like Christianity, or as if such religions currently no longer have anything to contribute to these concepts.

This is remarkable, given that for example Michel Rosenfeld has had to concede ‘that there is no consensus on what “the rule of law” stands for, even if it is fairly clear what it stands against. An important part of the problem is that “the rule of law” is an “essentially contestable concept,” with both descriptive and prescriptive content over which there is a lack of widespread agreement.’

In light of the above, the proposed paper will depart from the idea that the concept of the rule of law is somehow intimately connected with Western liberal tradition. As Michael W. McConnell has argued, the history of liberalism in turn goes back further than the Enlightenment of the 18th century. It is probably more accurate to regard the 16th century Reformation as having given rise to liberalism, with its emphasis on the idea of individual conscience.

McConnell has also elaborated upon the similarities between some of the core doctrines of liberalism and particular Christian theological principles. Of these different connections, the one between the notion of limited government and the idea of the separation of church and state will be singled out, i.e. libertas ecclesiae or the ‘freedom of the church’. As McConnell puts it, ‘[i]n this view, religious freedom comes into being not as a result of ontological individualism but as a result of the jurisdictional separation between these two sets of authorities. (…) While theological in its origin, the two-kingdoms idea lent powerful support to a more general liberal theory of government. The separation of church from state is the most powerful possible refutation of the notion that the political sphere is omnicompetent – that it has rightful authority over all of life. If the state does not have power over the church, it follows that the power of the state is limited.’

The proposed paper will argue that this prescriptive meaning ascribed to the concept of rule of law by Christianity takes on a renewed relevance at a time when sovereignty claims by religious institutions are increasingly regarded by their critics as incompatible with the idea of state sovereignty being the only legitimate source of sovereignty. Thus, it is unfortunately presented as if a clear choice will need to be made between the jurisdictional approach to religious freedom and the modern liberal view that sees sovereignty within the liberal democratic state as essentially monistic in nature.

Upcoming Speaking Engagement, Journal of Law, Religion & State International Conference: Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives, Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel

35699

‘The encounter of religion with the rule of law may generate tension but also mutual inspiration. The rule of law implies law’s supremacy over other normative systems and personal commitments. It also implies that law applies to everyone equally. Religion represents a normative system that may in some areas be different from – and stand in opposition to – state law. Religion may deny the supremacy of state law and pose divine law as supreme instead. It may, alternatively, seek exemptions from state law in those matters where the two conflict.

TOPICS: In this conference we seek to study this tension and discuss the following questions:
– Does religion (in general or a specific religion) accept the rule of state law?
– What are the boundaries (if any) of such acceptance?
– In what cases would religion challenge state law and in what cases would it seek exemptions?
– Can a policy of multiculturalism and of legal pluralism, which give more room to religious freedom, be reconciled with the rule of law or does it undermine it?
– What other policies should states follow in response to these tensions?

Religion may not only compete with state law but also inspire it, which leads us to investigate religion’s various understandings of the rule of law. Here is just one example. The concept of law in the context of the rule of law is ambiguous and open to different interpretations. Some (positivists) understand law as a set of rules fixed by social institutions, and others (natural law advocates) understand law as if it includes fundamental principles of justice and morality. Religions may take a position in that debate and contribute not only to the abstract understanding of law, but also to the identification of those moral principles that are part of law. We therefore also plan to explore the following:
– What is the position of religion with regard to the concept of law and the rule of law?
– Many religions developed partial or comprehensive legal systems of their own. Did religions also develop a concept of rule of law? What is its scope and meaning?
– The concept of rule of law also may be used in theological context as a metaphor to understand the boundaries of divine actions and intervention in the world. Is God constrained by law – and by what kind of law: law of nature, morality?

These and similar questions will be discussed in an international conference that will be held at Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel, on November 20-22, 2016.’

Source: http://www.ssrn.com/update/lsn/lsnann/ann16021.html. More information will follow.

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

ClKkdxNWQAUcQDn

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/.

Chapter in volume on Religion, Politics and Law. Philosophical Reflections on the Sources of Normative Order in Society (2009)

28468

‘Modern, liberal democracies in the West living under the rule of law and protection of human rights cannot articulate the very values from which they derive their legitimacy. These pre-political and pre-legal preconditions cannot be guaranteed, let alone be enforced by the state, but constitute nevertheless its moral and spiritual infrastructure. Until recently, a common background and horizon consisted in Christianity, but due to secularisation and globalisation, society has become increasingly multicultural and multireligious. The question can and should be raised how religion relates to these sources of normative order in society, how religion, politics and law relate to each other, and how social cohesion can be attained in society, given the growing varieties of religious experiences. In this book, a philosophical account of this question is carried out, on the one hand historically from Plato to the Enlightenment, on the other hand systematically and practically.’

My own chapter, co-authored with Florian H. Karim Theissen, is entitled ‘Taking Pluralism Seriously: The US and the EU as Multicultural Democracies’.

See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228283908_Taking_Pluralism_Seriously_The_US_and_the_EU_as_Multicultural_Democracies.

For order information, visit http://www.brill.com/religion-politics-and-law;

or http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Politics-Law-Bart-Labuschagne/dp/9004172076/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452689366&sr=8-1&keywords=religion%2C+politics%2C+law+labuschagne.

International Conference on “The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics in Transition”

Looking forward to attending the above conference, the call of papers for which is still open:

‘Date: 5-7 June 2013

Venue: Connie-Fan Multi-media Conference Room, 4/F Cheng Yick-chi Building, CityU

Language: The Conference will be conducted in English and Putonghua. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided during the conference.

Organizer: The Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law (RCCL), School of Law, City University of Hong Kong

Conference Objectives

The objectives of the conference include three facets generally. The first objective is to provide a platform for scholars from different areas, and make the dialogue much more diverse and fruitful. Accompanied with much more openness of Greater China, more and more dialogues are needed for understandings and agreements among one another. The theme on the rule of law with Chinese characteristics is such a one needed to be explored and discussed for the future of China.

The second is to focus on this theme from comparative perspectives, get consensus on the pros and cons of the features of the rule of law with the so-called Chinese characteristics in transition so as to keep these characteristics, follow the track of the rule of law and arrive at Chinese rule of law eventually.

The third is to bridge the communications between China (including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan), North America, Europe, Australia and other countries and regions, so as to make Hong Kong academia know much more about the recent intellectual developments in these relevant areas. This would make the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong more open and leading in these areas potentially.

Issues to be explored during the conference:

(1) The rule of law with Chinese characteristics from comparative perspectives
(2) The rule of law in transition from historical and comparative perspectives
(3) Particular legal systems with Chinese characteristics in the practice
(4) Confucian constitutionalism, authoritarianism and the global constitutionalism
(5) Religious freedom and the moral foundations of the rule of law with Chinese characteristics from comparative perspectives
(6) Human rights protection and democracy with Chinese characteristics in comparison’

For the submission procedure, see: http://www.cityu.edu.hk/slw/RLCCT/callforpapers.html.

For information on the Centre for Comparative and Chinese Law, see http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/slw/RCCL/index.html.