Realizing the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion: The Limited Normative Force of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Human Rights Law Review (2017, Forthcoming)

26 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2017  

Jaclyn L. Neo

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law; National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for Asian Legal Studies; National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for International Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This article examines the normative force and limits of article 22 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (‘AHRD’) to advance the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion among ASEAN Member States. It argues that efforts to advance this freedom based on the AHRD is likely to be hampered by two constraints - one external to the document and one internal to the document. The external challenge is that there is no baseline consensus upon which to build a core understanding of the content of the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion due to competing visions of freedom of religion. The internal constraint stems from the various provisions within the AHRD that appears to grant states significant discretion in defining the content and scope of human rights. In examining these constraints, this article seeks to inform a broader enquiry as to the AHRD’s potential as a regional human rights instrument.

Keywords: human rights law, religious freedom, law and religion

Suggested Citation

Neo, Jaclyn L., Realizing the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion: The Limited Normative Force of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (2017). Human Rights Law Review (2017, Forthcoming) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3004304

Jaclyn L.C. Neo (Contact Author)

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

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

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for Asian Legal Studies ( email )

Singapore

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for International Law ( email )

Block B, #02-01
469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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