Freedom of Religion and Belief in International Law: A Comparative Analysis*

Urfan Khaliq

in Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641444
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741104 | DOI:
Freedom of Religion and Belief in International Law: A Comparative Analysis*

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This chapter provides an overview of the protection afforded to freedom of religion and belief under international law and discerns some trends as to how the rights are being interpreted and applied. It considers the relevant provisions which exist in universal and some regional treaties as well as in various formally non-binding documents which refer to the rights in question. It examines in detail the approach of some of the relevant bodies in interpreting aspects of those provisions, in particular the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee. It argues that despite the longstanding recognition of the need for religious rights to be protected in international law, there is not in the Rawlsian sense, a consensus at the international (both universal and regional) level as to the core of the rightsin question and the permissible limitations on exercising them.

Keywords: Islamic law; international human rights law; religious freedom; European Court of Human Rights; Human Rights Committee

Chapter.  25991 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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