Presentation at the workshop of the European University Institute: ‘Judging Faiths: Religious Freedom at the Bar in U.S. and European Courts’

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Conference Room, Villa La Fonte  via delle Fontanelle, 18 – San Domenico di Fiesole

23-24 October 2014

Organisers:  Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies/European University Institute

This workshop aimed to bring together a group of distinguished judges, scholars and advocates to discuss the tensions between faith-based practices and secular ideals in courts. These insights included: how, despite very different institutional frameworks, the similar ways US and European Courts make room for local variation through a jurisprudence of avoidance; the ways that American style (and often American-backed) litigation activists are transforming what has been a European group-based conception of religious freedom into an individualistic conception; and common strategies through which litigants translate matters of faith into the interests protected by law.

Effie was invited to present her paper ‘The Secular Court? Trends in the United States Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights Compared’ where she questioned specifically whether the judiciary can be considered a force promoting secularism, by drawing conclusions from the ECtHR and the US Supreme Court case law, and the recent mobilisations around these two institutions regarding religious freedom cases.

The paper forms part of the research with regard to ‘grasstops’ mobilisations at the European level for the Grassrootsmobilise Research Programme.

Programme of the workshop here.