Monday, January 07, 2008

Monthly Newsletter on Law and Religion

For the past few years, Sébastien Lherbier-Levy has been publishing a very detailed monthly newsletter on religion and law called "La lettre du droit des religions".

Each issue includes an editorial comment, a feature article, news items from France and the European Union, case law from the European Court of Human Rights (and domestic case law from French tribunals) as well as a bibliography.

In the most recent issue, there are items about the place of religion in the European Union's new Lisbon Treaty, digests of French and European court and tribunal decisions, summaries of debates in the French and European Parliaments dealing with religious matters, the full text (in French) of the Supreme Court of Canada decision Bruker v. Marcovitz, 2007 SCC 54 on Jewish religious divorce, and excerpts about France from the text of the U.S. Secretary of State's 2007 Report on International Religious Freedom.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the intersection of religion and secular law include:


  • Laïcité 1905-2005: Centenary of the Separation of Church and State in France (December 12, 2005): "Last Friday, December 9, marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of the French law creating an active separation of Church and state, a concept known as 'laïcité' and that is often translated as secularism."
  • Ontario Bans Sharia Arbitration (February 17, 2006): "The provincial government of Ontario passed legislation this week that bans the use of binding religious arbitration to settle family law matters, like divorce and child custody. The government was driven to pass the law by a public pressure campaign that took off last year against the possibility that a controversial set of Muslim rules and guidelines known as sharia would be used under the Arbitration Act, 1991."
  • Religious Law Guide (February 17, 2006): "The Guide offers an introduction to religious law with sections covering Islamic law, Jewish law, Christian Canon law, Hindu law, Buddhist Law and Confucian Law. Each section provides essential facts as well as details of Web, book and article sources available. There is also a list giving details of how religious law is implemented in a number of jurisdictions."
  • Quebec Government Creates Committee on Religious/Cultural Diversity in Schools (October 11, 2006): "The Quebec Minister of Education, Jean-Marc Fournier, announced today that he is creating a consultative committee on diversity in the province's schools whose primary task will be to come up with 'a clear and accessible definition of what is a reasonable accommodation' between the needs of children from cultural and religious minorities and the values of the officially secular public education system."
  • Supreme Court of Canada to Review Religious Divorce (October 16, 2006): "[T]he Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case on December 5, 2006 of a Jewish woman who sued her ex-husband for 'allegedly blighting her chances to remarry within her faith when he broke his contractual pledge to her to consent to a religious divorce.' According to the article entitled 'Withholding ghet permission to be reviewed by Supremes', the issue in this specific case is part of a list of 'current religious/secular conflicts over the propriety of polygamy, same-sex marriage and the use of traditional faith-based laws like Sharia to resolve family and civil disputes'."
  • Legal Background to the Controversy on Polygamy in Canada (August 3, 2007): "Earlier this week, a special prosecutor in British Columbia concluded there was insufficient evidence to lay criminal charges against members of a break-away Mormon polygamist colony in the town of Bountiful (...) There have recently been a number of studies on the legal aspects of the polygamy debate in Canada. In 2005 Status of Women Canada, a government agency that promotes gender equality, commissioned four research reports on the topic of polygamy..."
  • Policy Options Sept. 2007 Issue on Reasonable Accommodation of Minorities (September 11, 2007): "The Sept. 2007 issue of Policy Options, a journal of the Montreal think tank Institute for Research on Public Policy, contains a number of articles on the issue of reasonable accommodation of minorities, in particular religious minorities.The issue was published just as public hearings of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on state secularism, immigrant integation and relations between minorities and the French-speaking majority of the province get underway in Quebec."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:25 pm

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