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Dear Subscribers to the Law and Religion Headlnes Service:  

During our Holiday break, or any time, you can find on our websites all items posted to the Law and Religions Headlines lists maintained by the Publications Workgroup of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.  Even when we are not organizing and sending the email lists, items are accumulating in the archives.

Searchable archives of Law and Religion Headlines may be found at the following links: [International News] [Europe News [U.S. News] 

As always, please note that the headlines posted do not necessarily reflect opinions or attitudes of members of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School. We strive for balance in presenting issues of potential interest to our readers. 

As we reach the end of a year that has been both challenging and rewarding for those of us engaged in promoting freedom of religion, conscience, and belief, for everyone everywhere, we are grateful for our friends in all parts of the world who share interest in this work. To all we send prayers for courage and hope as a new year dawns. 

Image for OSCE/ODIHR Trains Ukrainian Lawyers on Litigation Related to Freedom of Religion or Belief
Mikolaj Wrzecionkowski, Assistant Programme Officer at OSCE/ODIHR, during a training in Kyiv, on right to freedom of religion or belief for lawyers in Ukraine, 11 February 2016
Credit: OSCE/Tetyana Korshykova

From the OSCE website: 

The right to freedom of religion or belief in the case law and practice of the European Court of Human Rights was the focus of training organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on 11 and 12 February 2016 in Kyiv.

The event provided 17 lawyers with a greater understanding of the main principles underpinning the right to freedom of religion or belief as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, as well as of the relevant case law and the procedural aspects of bringing cases before the Court.

"Freedom of religion or belief under the European Convention of Human Rights is valueless unless the right can be enforced through legal process," Mark Hill,  a barrister specializing in human rights and law and religion who represents clients in the United Kingdom... more

Image for Developing a Multilateral Approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A European Perspective

The Conference Developing a multilateral approach to freedom of religion or belief: a European perspective was held 9-11 February 2015 at Wiston House, Wilton Park. Wilton Park is an international forum for strategic discussion located in Sussex, United Kingdom. The Wilton Park conference was part of a larger project of transatlantic policy dialogue funded by the British Council/Luce Foundation Bridging Voices programme entitled ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and Foreign Policy: A transatlantic dialogue for a multilateral approach to religious freedom’. The first leg of will focus on the emerging European approach and the U.S./European divide, but will also starting opening up the discussion over the policy prospects of a joint... more

Image for Report: Launch Event for the ODIHR/Venice Commission Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities - 4 February 2015

Report from Cole Durham at the European Parliament

On February 4, 2015, the European Parliamentary Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance hosted, at the European Parliament in Brussels, a launch event for the newly published ODIHR/Venice Commission Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities.

The event was chaired by MEP Dennis de Jong, Co-President of the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance of the EU Parliament, and featured introductory remarks by Snježana Bokulić, Head of the Human Rights Department, OSCE/ODIHR; a presentation of the Guidelines by Finola Flanagan, Former Member of the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (The Venice Commission) and Engy Abdelkader, Member of the OSCE/ODIHR Advisory Panel on Freedom of Religion or Belief; and comments by John Kinahan, of Forum 18.  After formal presentations... more