Conscientious Objection to Assigned Work Tasks: A Comment on Relations of Law and Culture

Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 31, pp. 511-22, 2010

Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 104/2012

15 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2012 Last revised: 16 Mar 2012

See all articles by Roger Cotterrell

Roger Cotterrell

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: March 13, 2012

Abstract

This paper considers how far a legal-cultural perspective may help to explain contrasts in approaches, in different jurisdictions, to a particular legal issue addressed by five national reports on which the paper comments. The issue is: how should law respond to employees' objections, on grounds of conscience, to being required to perform particular work tasks assigned by their employers, or to being required to perform them in particular ways? The national reports discussed relate to Japan, the United States, Germany, Israel and Spain. The paper argues that cultural factors can influence not only law’s response but also the ways in which the issue of conscience is understood, contextualised and legally presented.

Keywords: Culture, legal culture, comparative law, beliefs and values, religion, nationalism, dignity, conscientious objection, employment relations

Suggested Citation

Cotterrell, Roger, Conscientious Objection to Assigned Work Tasks: A Comment on Relations of Law and Culture (March 13, 2012). Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 31, pp. 511-22, 2010, Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 104/2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2021099

Roger Cotterrell (Contact Author)

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