Law of Ritual Slaughter and the Principle of Religious Equality

Journal of Law, Religion and State, Forthcoming

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/84

25 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2016

See all articles by Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias

Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias

Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences - Poznan Human Rights Centre

Wojciech Sadurski

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 14, 2016

Abstract

In December 2014, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal struck down as unconstitutional a statute which prohibited all animal slaughter conducted without prior stunning. The Tribunal found this law contrary to Polish (and European) provisions regarding freedom of exercise of religion. In this paper, we critically analyse the judgment through the lens of the general principle of religious equality. Considering other European cases on ritual slaughter, as well as the landmark US case on the matter, we propose a template for the discussion of equality in relation to religious matters, based on a distinction between two formulas: “substantive” equality, which requires accommodation of religious requirements, and often calls for exemptions from general rules; and “formal” equality, which calls for the equal application of general moral standards to all religious and non-religious practices. We conclude that a “formal” conception is also based on substantive moral considerations about the priority of some general moral requirements over those demanded by particular religious practices.

Keywords: Religious Equality, Ritual Slaughter, European Court of Human Rights, Freedom of Religion, Constitutional Tribunal, Poland, United States, Public Morals

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K42

Suggested Citation

Gliszczynska-Grabias, Aleksandra and Sadurski, Wojciech, Law of Ritual Slaughter and the Principle of Religious Equality (September 14, 2016). Journal of Law, Religion and State, Forthcoming, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/84, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2839088

Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias

Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences - Poznan Human Rights Centre ( email )

Mielzynskiego 27/29
Poznan, 61-725
Poland

Wojciech Sadurski (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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