AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

The Argument for a Narrow Conception of 'Religious Autonomy'

by Lisbet Christoffersen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Freedom of religion; religious autonomy; religiious law as valid law; Canon Law; Freedom of Religion; Ministerial Exemption
Record ID: 1122133
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/22901


Based on two recent cases at ECHR (Fernández and Syndicatul) and an american supreme court case (Hosana-Tabor) this article contributes to a special issue of OJLR on Ministerial exemption. The article is in favor of collective freedom of religion but warns against an extensive interpretation of religious autonomy and on re-introducing religious law as valid ground for exemptions from fundamental freedoms and rights; This article argues for a both horizontal and vertical narrow concept of collective freedom of Religion. The most recent ECtHR judgments as well as the US Supreme Court Hosanna-Tabor case leads theory to establish religious autonomy based on parallel legal roders. Nordic theory has been based on lack of acknowledgement of Canon Law, which is no longer possible. A future path might be to accept overlapping normative orders, however with secular courts as the final institutions.