2004 Annual Symposium
Ore G. Jacques
Special Counselor to the President of the republic of Ivory Coast

Dr. Jacques is a Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Ivory Coast on issues of cults, religions and traditions. He was born in 1944 and has a doctorate degree in sociology.

Krenar Loloci – Albania
Attorney, Loloci and Associates

Mr. Loloçi is the principal attorney at Loloçi & Associates, located in Tirana, Albania. He was educated at the University of Tirana. His private law practice specializes in real estate, property, and banking. He is also an assistant prosecutor for economic crimes and a professor of constitutional law at the University of Tirana. Mr. Loloçi is also a member of constitutional draft commissions for the Republic of Albania and a legal advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania. Loloçi has published numerous articles and books relating to democratization, constitution-making, and the European Union.

Roberto Bosca – Argentina
University of Austral

Professor Bosca was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina. He studied law at the Universidad del Salvador, and obtained his Doctorate degree in law at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is currently a law professor at the Universidad Austral where he previously served as the first dean and currently serves as the Director of the Department of International Affairs. He is a member of numerous councils and institutes including: the Institute of Ecclesiastical Law of the Universidad Católica Argentina, the Argentine Council for Religious Liberty, and the Commission of Justice and Peace of the Episcopate. Professor Bosca has also published numerous articles and books on various subjects relating to social ethics and the relationship between religion and politics.


Norberto Padilla – Argentina
Catholic University and University of Buenos Aires

Professor Padilla was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 1970, and a PhD in International Public Law. He is acting assistant professor in the College of Rights and Political Science at the University of Buenos Aires and a professor at the Catholic University of Argentina. In the public sector, he has served in many capacities, including advisor for the Secretary of Culture and Education of the Nation, Congress of the Nation; Minister of Foreign Relations, International Commerce and Religion; and Governor of the City of Buenos Aires. He has participated in panels, seminars and conferences regarding religious freedom, and has published many articles and dissertations.

Elza Gevorgyan – Armenia
Assistant Advisor to the Prime Minister for Religious Affairs

Elza Gevorgyan is the Assistant Advisor to the Prime Minister for Religious Affairs in Armenia and has been actively involved in the National Youth Council in Armenia. She has also received special training in issues such as “Environment and Education,” “NGOs and Civil Service in Armenia,” and “Women for a Better Future.” She currently serves as Vice-Chairman of “Ardarutjun” YNGO.

Razmik Markosyan – Armenia
Advisor to the Prime Minister for Religious Affairs

Mr. Markosyan currently serves as the Advisor to the Prime Minister for religious affairs and national minorities in Armenia. He is the former president of the State Council on Religious Affairs. He is an academician of the International Academy of Spiritual Unity of the people of the world, a full member academician of the International Academy of Sciences of Nature and Society, and an honorary professor of the International Academy of Sciences of Nature and Society. Mr. Markosyan is fluent in English and Russian.

Neville G. Rochow – Australia
Barrister-at-law, Howard Zelling Chanbers

Wolfgang Wieshaider – Austria
University of Austria

Mr. Wieshaider is a lawyer and has been working at the Institute for Law and Religion at Vienna University’s Law Faculty since 1998. He researches and teaches law in culture and religion in Vienna and at Charles University in Prague. He has a Doctorate in Administrative Procedure. He later focused on cultural and religious law while studying in Paris. He has published various articles relating to freedom of religion, freedom of speech and art, the protection of historical and cultural monuments, the construction and protection of religious sites, the relationship of the state to religious communities in Central Europe, and Islam in Austria, as well as both books and contributions to books.

Roseli Fischmann – Brazil
Professor, University of Austria

Dr. Fischmann is a graduate studies professor at the University of São Paulo. She is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s department of psychology. She has a master’s degree (cum laude) in educational administration and economics of education, and a Ph.D., (cum laude) in philosophy and the history of education. Her research focuses on national identity, minority rights, political psychology and cultural development and she has published widely on these topics. She is the First President and Coordinator General of the Cultural Pluralism Institute. Dr. Fischmann is the mother of two sons.

Ze Jin – China
Deputy Director, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Qiu Yonghui – China
Professor, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Lirong Zhang – China
Deputy Division Chief, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Yaping Zhang – China
Deputy Researcher, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Guangming Zhao – China
Assistant Researcher, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Blandine Chelini-Pont – France
Director, Institut de Droit et d'Histoire Religieux

Ms. Pont is responsible for the Law and Religion Team at the Laboratory for Legal and Social Mutations Research at the Paul Cézanne University. She is also responsible for secularism, law of worship and religious associations. In addition, she teaches contemporary religious history and directs a research seminar on geopolitics of large contemporary religions at the Institute for Political Studies at Aix-en-Provence. Her latest published work is Geopolitics and Christianity, Ellipses 2003. In the course of publication with Jeremy Gunn is a comparative essay on the mythological function of French secularism and American religious freedom.

Alain Garay – France
Avocat a la Cour de Paris

Mr. Garay has degrees from the Institute for Political Studies in Bordeaux and the National School of Imports. His practice emphasizes public liberties and the European Convention on the Rights of Man, as well as business, medical and financial law. He is a member of the Law and Political Science faculty at the University of Aix-Marseille III. Monsieur Garay is the vice president of both the National Association of Patients’ Rights and the Association for the Control of Pain by Patients, and a member of several other associations. Monsieur Garay is widely published in the areas of medical and human rights law.

Richard Puza – Germany
Professor, University of Trubingen

Dr. Puza was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. He studied law at the University of Graz and is currently a member of the Faculty of Catholic Theology, Department for Canon Law, where he is a professor of History of Church Law and State Law of Religion at the University of Tübingen. He is a member of the Diocesan Council, Judge of the Diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, and a member of the law department of the Diocese Graz-Seckau.

Freddie Worsemao Armah Blay – Ghana
First Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Ghana

Mr. Blay is a legal practitioner from the western region of Sekondi. He obtained a bachelor of law from the University of Ghana, Legon and a barrister at law from the Ghana Law School. Mr. Blay is married with three children. He is a senior partner at Blay & Associates and is the publisher of the Daily Guide Newspaper. Mr. Blay serves as the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, and also serves in the parliament as the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, and the Chairman of the Privileges Committee. He is also a member of numerous boards and councils in Africa.

Elom K. Dovlo – Ghana
Professor, University of Ghana

Professor Dovlo is a professor at the University of Ghana, Legon. He received his Ph.D. and Master’s degree in comparative history of religions from the University of Lancaster and his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of Ghana, Legon. He also studied theology at the University of Leiden, Netherlands. Professor Dovlo has also designed and taught religious studies courses at five institutes of higher learning. From 1998-2000, he served as the Religion Studies department chair at the University of Ghana and as the coordinator for the university’s distance education program. He is also a member of several religious associations. He and his wife, Stella, are the parents of three children.

Nii Ashie Kotey – Ghana
Professor, University of Ghana School of Law

Professor Kotey is the law school dean at the University of Ghana. He has taught law for 25 years and has expertise in human rights and constitutional law. He has an LLM degree and a Ph.D.

Nii Adote Obuor – Ghana
Chief of Sempe, Ga Traditional Council

Mr. Obuor served in the Ghana Foreign Services for 32 years, from 1959-1991 and is currently the Chief of Sempe in the Ga Traditional Council. He was educated at Adisadel College, Cape Coast, and later received a certificate in Public Administration from GIMPA. He is also a member of various boards and commissions, including the Medical Advisory Board, the Houses of Chiefs, the Commission on Culture, and Ghana’s board of Governors.

Vikram Dutt – India
Consultant and Board Member, Udayan Care

Mr. Dutt is a consultant and Board Member for Udayan Care. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees from Delhi University. Mr. Dutt is the author of over 250 publications. He is a member of various organizations advocating the needs of the disabled. He has been a visiting fellow to the U.S., Italy, Germany, and the UK. Mr. Dutt has over thirty years of experience in disability, rehabilitation, and media fields, especially focusing on the inclusion of special needs people in civil society. As Secretary of the Board of Management, he helped established the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi and later worked as its first Chairman of Rehabilitation. He has also served as secretary of an Indo-US subcomission on spinal injury research. Mr. Dutt is editor of the Indian Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation. He has taught at Kurukshetra, Jamia Hmdard, Bhoj Open, and Indraprastha Universities as visiting lecturer. He is also a well-known motivational speaker.

Sanjiv Kumar – India
Deputy Commissioner, Indian Administrative Service

Mr. Kumar is a Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) for the Indian Administrative Service. He has previously held the offices of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, and Secretary of Tribal Welfare where he worked for the protection of tribal rights of a remote island tribe in India.

Marco Ventura – Italy
Professor, University of Siena Law School

Dr. Ventura is a professor in law and religion at the University of Siena Law School in Italy. He received a law degree from the University of Perugia, a degree at the Faculty of Theology of Strasbourg, and a Ph.D. in law and religion at the University of Strasbourg. Dr. Ventura has taught and lectured across the world on topics relating to law and religion. In addition, he has published three books and several articles in several languages on different topics in the field of law and religion. He is also a member of the International Association of Law, Ethics, and Science.

hiroaki Kobayashi – Japan
Professor, Nihon University

Dr. Kobayashi is a professor of Foreign Public Law at Nihon University and is President of the Japanese Association for Comparative Constitutional Law. He was born in Akita, Japan, in 1937. He studied at Sophia University, Tokyo, and the University of Wuerzburg. He received his law degree at the University of Wuerzburg in 1964. Dr. Kobayashi actively organizes and participates at international human rights conferences.

Ibrahim K. Dabbour – Jordan
Greek Orthodox Patriariate

Dr. Dabbour is with the Greek Orthodox Patriarcate. He received his doctorate degree in theology from the Greek University of Salonika in 1990. He is currently a professor of religion and the headmaster of Greek Orthodoxy in Jordan.

Abdul Karim M. Pharaon – Jordan
Judge, Court of Cassation

Mr. Pharaon was born in Al Aizarieh, Jerusalem. He received his LLB in law in 1972 from Damascus University in Syria. He managed the legal affairs at Bendix Field Engineering (later merged with Allied Signal) in Saudia Arabia from 1975-1982. Mr. Pharaon then started his own private law practice in Amman, Jordan and worked there from 1982-2000. In January of 2000 he was appointed as a Court of Appeals Judge in Amman where he served until June of 2004. Presently he is a judge in the Court of Cassation in Amman Jordan. Mr. Pharaon has participated in drafting many laws that were submitted to Parliament and represents Jordan at conferences and seminars all over the world, presenting legal topics. Mr. Pharaon is married and has five children who are all married.

Kanatbek S. Murzahalilov – Kyrgyzstan
Chief Expert, State Commission on Religious Affairs

Mr. Murzahalilov is a chief expert for the State Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic. He has authored more than a dozen articles on interconfessional developments in the Kyrgyz Republic. He taught at the institute of technology Kyzyl-Kiya from 1998-2002. Mr. Murzahalilov speaks Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Russian.

Sharsheke Usenovich Usenov – Kyrgyzstan
Advisor, State Commission on Religious Affairs

Mr. Usenov received a diploma from Kyrgyz State University in history. He is currently a historian and professor of history and society. Mr. Usenov is also currently a member of the State Commission on Religious Affairs at the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. He is married and the father of three children. He speaks Kyrgyz, Russian and English.

Serghei Iatco – Moldova
Director, State Department on Religious Affairs

Mr. Iatco is the Director of the State Department on Religious Affairs in the government of the Republic of Moldova. He graduated from Moldavian State University in history, and he now serves as a faculty member of the university’s law school.

Paul T. Rishworth – New Zealand
Professor, University of Auckland School of Law

Professor Rishworth is the Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Auckland. He is also a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He has LLB (Honors) and MJur (Distinction) degrees. He has published widely on issues of public law, comparative law, constitutional law and human rights. He has extensive experience as an advisor and has advised the Human Rights Commission on various issues including susceptibility of religious institutions to Human Rights Act of 1993, freedom of expression, insurance law, discrimination and school zoning.

Matthews A. Ojo – Nigeria
Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University

Professor Ojo works in the Department of Religious Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Among his numerous accomplishments, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religion at Harvard in 2002, the Zora Neale Hurston Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities at Nothwestern University in 1994-1995 and a Pew Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World in 1993-1994. He has contributed to numerous books on the subject of Christianity, written several journal articles and has three works pending publication. His research areas and specializations are: Christianity in Africa, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Africa, New Religious Movements, Religion and the Media in Africa, and Christian Missions.

Lamido Sanusi – Nigeria
Head, Risk Management Sector, United Bank for Africa

Mikhail Y. Rybiyanov – Russia
Editor, Izvestia Daily

Lev Simkin – Russia
Attorney at Law, Latham and Watkins, Moscow

James S. Mukasa – Uganda
Advocate, Sebalu and Lule Advocated and legal Consultants

Victor yevgenovich Yelynsky – Ukraine
Advisor to the Chairman of the Ukrainian State Committee for Religious Affairs

Victor Yelensky is a senior researcher at the Hrihorii Skovoroda Philosophy Institute, Ukrainian National Academy of Science. He is also editor-in-chief of Ukraine’s only journal for religion studies: “Lyudina i Svit” (Individual & World). Since the late 1980s, he has focused his research on Post-Communist religious changes, church-state relations, and the so-called ‘religious’ conflicts in East Europe and Eurasia after the Fall of Communism. In 2000 he drafted the Memorandum “Religion and change in central and eastern Europe” (corresponding Recommendation (No1556) was adopted by the Assembly on 24 April 2002). He has produced dozens of publications on these topics and his articles have appeared in several countries. Mr. Yelensky is the President of the Ukrainian branch of the International Religious Liberty Association.

Paul Diamond – United Kingdom

Mr. Diamond practices public law, employment law, housing law and the law of religious freedom. He has a BA in Politics, an LLM degree from Cambridge, and had a UN Scholarship at the Hague Academy of International Law. He has published numerous articles and several of the cases he argued have been reported. He was a barrister on the Keep Sunday Special Campaign and has argued before the Court of Appeal, the European Commission on Human Rights, and the United Nations Conference on religious and family rights. Mr. Diamond is married with one son.

W. Cole Durham, Jr. – United States
Gates University Professor of Law, BYU Law school; Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Professor Durham was appointed as co-chair of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and has served as Vice President of the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Professor Durham has been heavily involved in comparative constitutional law and church-state relations throughout his career. He has published widely on Comparative Law, as chair of both the Comparative Law Section and the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and as a member of several U.S. and international advisory boards dealing with religious freedom and church-state relations.

Rosalind I.J. Hackett – United States
Professor, University of Tennessee

Professor Hackett completed her B.A. with Honors in French and Religious Studies, at the University of Leeds. She has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. She has taught and lectured at several universities including Harvard, Georgetown, George Washington, the University of Tennessee, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Her areas of specialization include: African Religions; New Religious Movements; Anthropology and Sociology of Religion; History of Religions and Methodology in the Study of Religion; Religion and Culture; Human Rights and Religion; Gender and Religion; Art and Religion; African Art; Religious Education; and African Religions in the New World. Professor Hackett has authored numerous articles and books including several books on religion in Nigeria.

J. Clifford Wallace – United States
Judge, Chief Judge Emeritus, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Wallace graduated from San Diego State University with honors and distinction in 1952, and he graduated from the School of Law at the University of California, Berkley. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1955, and he specialized in the trial of civil matters. He was sworn in as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of California in 1970, he was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1972, and he became Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit in 1991. In 1996, Judge Wallace stepped down as Chief Judge and took senior status. He has published numerous articles, and he has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally. In 1998, Judge Wallace gave the keynote speech at the Conference on Law Reform Issues in the United States and Turkey. Judge Wallace has worked extensively in the area of judicial administration, and he has participated in numerous conference related to the judicial branch of the American government. He also developed the concept of the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific, and he has since served as a resource person and presenter.

Michael Young – United States
President, University of Utah

Professor Young was recently named the new president of the University of Utah. Prior to this position, he has served as Dean of the George Washington Law School, Director of Columbia University’s Japanese Legal Studies Center and as an Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs. He has also served as the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Thanh Hien Tuyet Nguyen – Viet Nam
Senior Expert, Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Hanoi