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‘Religion and Discrimination Law in the European Union’ Published

26 March 12

Religion and Society helped to support the 2011 meeting of the European Consortium for Church and State Research, and the papers from it have now been published. The book, edited by Honorary Professor Mark Hill QC, includes a number of contributions from members of the Centre for Law and Religion, including a conclusion by Professor Norman Doe (Principal Investigator on Religion and Society collaborative studentship 'The Dialogue between Society and Religion in the use of Professional Experts in the Roman Catholic church').

For the first time in its twenty-three year history, the European Consortium for Church and State Research met in England on 29 September to 2 October, at St Stephen’s House Oxford. The Consortium was established under the auspices of the EU by leading professors in the field in Church-State relations in major European countries and has increased in membership including recently the emergent Eastern European democracies.

This year’s meeting was on the subject of ‘Religion and Discrimination Law in the European Union’. The keynote address was given by Sir Nicolas Bratza, President-Elect of the European Court of Human Rights who spoke of the Strasbourg  jurisprudence on  to cases concerning freedom of religion under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He commented on the clutch of cases pending in the European court where proceedings have been brought against the United Kingdom government: Eweida and Chaplin, raising the issue of wearing the Christian symbol of the cross in the workplace; and Ladele and Macfarlane, where the clash of religious beliefs and homosexuality are to be addressed.

‘Religion and Discrimination Law in the European Union’ brings together the papers presented at the plenary sessions of the conference together with the written reports from each of the participating countries. They focussed, respectively, on the cultural and social history of equality legislation, the protection afforded to the public by anti-discrimination provisions, and the exceptions from these which are prescribed for religious organisations.

The volume is edited by Honorary Professor Mark Hill QC, who convened the Oxford conference.  At the General Assembly of the Consortium, Professor Mark Hill QC was elected President. He took up the office on 1 January 2012. Professor Hill is Chancellor of the Diocese in Europe and of the Diocese of Chichester, author of Ecclesiastical Law and Religious Liberty and Human Rights. He is an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University and an occasional contributor to the Church Times.

The conference in Oxford was supported by generous grants from the Ecclesiastical Law Society, the Religion and Society Programme at Lancaster University, and with financial support from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York together with a collection of diocesan bishops.

Further details: http://www.uni-trier.de/index.php?id=43662&L=2

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