Why Religious Freedom Matters for Democracy

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2020

See all articles by Myriam Hunter-Henin

Myriam Hunter-Henin

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: June 11, 2020

Abstract

Should an employee be allowed to wear a religious symbol at work? Should a religious employer be allowed to impose constraints on employees’ private lives for the sake of enforcing a religious work ethos? Should an employee or service provider be allowed, on religious grounds, to refuse to work with customers of the opposite sex or of a same-sex sexual orientation? This book explores how judges decide these issues and defends a democratic approach, which is conducive to a more democratic understanding of our vivre ensemble. The normative democratic approach proposed in this book is grounded on a sociological and historical analysis of two national stories of the relationships between law, religion, diversity and the State, the British (mainly English) and the French stories. The book then puts the democratic paradigm to the test, by looking at cases involving clashes between religious freedoms and competing rights in the workplace. Contrary to the current alternative between the “accommodationist view”, which defers to religious requests, and the “analogous” view, which undermines the importance of religious freedom for pluralism, this book offers a third way. It fills a gap in the literature on the relationships between law and religious freedoms and provides guidelines for judges confronted with difficult cases.

Keywords: religious freedom, laicite, church establishment, democracy, religious discrimination, equality

Suggested Citation

Hunter-Henin, Myriam Caroline, Why Religious Freedom Matters for Democracy (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3261784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3261784

Myriam Caroline Hunter-Henin (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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