Courting Religion: The Judge between Caesar and God in Asian Courts

28 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2009  

Li-ann THIO

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Abstract

Religion is almost universally guaranteed as a fundamental liberty and human right, although the scope of religious freedom and understandings of religious identity within secular democracies are informed by the specific model of constitutional secularism practiced. States often evidence an ambivalent attitude towards religion, treating it as Law's Other, that is, a competing normative system which has regulative force on social behaviour and influences conceptions of citizenship and affective loyalties. This article examines the interpretive method of two secular Asian courts, which are meant to be bastions of impartiality, in negotiating questions of religious identity and religious freedom. It analyses the judicial weighting and balancing of relevant competing factors and considers the varied understanding of what secularity requires and whether the concerns of religious minorities are adequately safeguarded within secular polities where religion remains an important social force.

Suggested Citation

THIO, Li-ann, Courting Religion: The Judge between Caesar and God in Asian Courts. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 52-79, July 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1491386

Li-ann THIO (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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