Freedom of Religion in a Secular World

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This chapter examines the place of freedom of religion in a system of protection of international human rights. It argues that the human right to freedom of religion (HRFR) has a limited place within a system of international human rights for several reasons. First, the meaning of religious freedom is deeply dependent on contingent factors, such as constitutional history, the social outlook of the society and the presence of religious minorities. Secondly, judicial actors at the supranational level are keen to show deference to national institutions when faced with complex issues regarding freedom of religion. Thirdly, any international actor will have to factor in a strong requirement of national sovereignty when deciding whether or not to intervene on the basis of the HRFR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Human Rights
EditorsRowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao, Massimo Renzo
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199688623
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


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