International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image
Symposium 2018
Session Recordings
Keynote Speakers
Executive Committee
Past Symposium Delegates
Photos
Symposium 2017
Symposium 2016
Symposium 2015
Symposium 2014
Symposium 2013
Session Reports
Keynote Speakers
Distinguished Service Award
Program (delegate bios)
Presentations
Photos
Delegates 2013
Students
The Hosts
Live Webcasts
Conference Theme
Past Delegates
Local Weather
Law Review
Symposium 2012
Symposium 2011
Symposium 2010
Symposium 2009
Past Symposia
All Symposium Delegates
Image for Symposium 2013: Keynote Speakers

Delegates, invited guests, and listeners worldwide via live webcast of the opening session of the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium were privileged to hear an excellent and stimulating keynote addresses by Judge Françoise Tulkens, and Professor Malcolm Evans OBE, who spoke to the topic Religion and Human Rights

Those assembled in the Moot Court of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, as well as those listening in via live webcast, were first welcome by Law School Dean James R. Rasband.  After which the speakers were introduced by W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the Law School's Internation Center for Law and Religion Studies, the Symposium's sponsoring organization, who also presented the Center's Distinguished Service Award to Professor Evans.

Both Judge Tulkens and Professor Evans delivered compelling and provocative addresses.

Judge Tulkens spoke from her perspective as a former distinguished member, key player and Vice President, of the European Court of Human Rights, who brought "fine legal skills and great personal qualities. ... passion, generosity, energy, sensitivity, charm, wisdom, sense of justice and unfaltering commitment to human rights."

Professor Evans spoke from his perspective as an academic and Deputy Director of the Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRiC) within the University of Bristol School of Law and as a member of the UK Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights and of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Advisory Council of Freedom of Religion and Belief who has worked extensively with numerous international organizations on a broad range of human rights issues. 

Judge Tulkens recounted concerns arising from the European Convention on Human Rights, identifying two aspects of the private right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention: the external and the collective. The external aspect concerns public controversies, such as bans on wearing headscarves in public. The collective aspect deals with discrimination as covered by Article 14 of the Convention and other issues such as multiculturalism, which, as Tulkens stated, "has frequently proved challenging." In dealing with these issues, the Court has frequently turned to a "necessity test," asking if a pressing social need existed to accept certain behaviors. More recently, Tulkens explained, the Court has turned to solutions arising from "practical concordance," where each side makes concessions, which she feels is a better solution.

Professor Evans shared his view that "questions of religion juxtaposed with anything else generate controversy." Few other rights have converse questions, Evans noted, like "freedom of religion and freedom from religion." But, Evans stated, freedom of religion and freedom of expression are "both foundational to democratic society," and that many conflicts might be resolved if parties had a greater respect for each side. Evans asked, "Might respect be able to help us make sense of the human right of freedom of religion?"

The remarks of both speakers served as excellent foundation both for the discussions to take place in the following days.

With thanks to the BYU Law School News Team

Image for Symposium 2013 Keynote Speaker: Fran├žoise Tulkens

Delegates, invited guests, and listeners worldwide via live webcast of the opening session of the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium were privileged to hear an excellent and stimulating keynote address by Judge Françoise Tulkens, who spoke to the topic Religion and Human Rights from her perspective as a member of the European Court of Human Rights.

Judge Tulkens was a member of the Court in respect of Belgium from 1998 until her retirement in 2012. She served as Section President from 2007, and from February 2011 she was one of two Court Vice Presidents, along with Sir Nicolas Bratza, under President of the Court Jean-Paul Costa. She brought to the Court "fine legal skills and great personal qualities. ... passion, generosity, energy, sensitivity, charm, wisdom, sense of justice and unfaltering commitment to human rights. This exceptional combination enabled her to become a key player within the European Court of Human Rights." [See Tribute by Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, below.]

Prior to joining the Court, Tulkens practiced at the Bar in Brussels from the time of receiving her doctorate in law and license in criminology in 1965 until... more

Image for Symposium 2013 Keynote Speaker: Malcolm Evans

Participants in the Moot Court Room of BYU Law School, as well as listeners worldwide via live webcast of the opening session of the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, were privileged to hear keynote remarks from Professor Malcolm Evans, OBE, who spoke to the topic "Religion and Human Rights," from his perspective as Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol Law School and Chair of the United Nations Sub Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

Professor Evans was also presented during this session with the Distinguished Service Award from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies for longtime and extraordinary service to the cause of freedom of religion and belief worldwide.

Professor Evans is a member of the UK Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights and of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Advisory Council of Freedom of Religion and Belief and has worked extensively with numerous international organizations on a broad range of human rights issues. As Deputy Director of the Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRiC) within the School of Law he is involved... more