Freedom of Religion and Belief in India and Australia: An Introductory Comparative Assessment of Two Federal Constitutional Democracies

43 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2019

See all articles by Paul T. Babie

Paul T. Babie

Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide

Arvind P. Bhanu

Amity University

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

This article considers the freedom of religion and belief (“free exercise”) in two secular federal constitutional democracies: India and Australia. Both constitutional systems emerged from the former British Empire and both continue in membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, which succeeded it. However, the similarities end there, for while both separate church and state, and protect free exercise, they do so in very different ways. On the one hand, the Indian Constitution contains express provisions which comprehensively deal with free exercise. On the other hand, while one finds what might appear a protection for free exercise in the Australian Constitution, that protection is far from comprehensive. Instead, unlike its Indian counterpart, the Australian federal democracy depends upon a piecemeal collection of Constitutional, legislative, and common law provisions which, when taken together, seem to achieve plenary protection for free exercise. Still, while India protects free exercise within a comprehensive constitutional framework, and while Australia does so in a disjointed and fragmentary way, both arrive at the same place: a constitutionalism characterized by secularism/separation of church and state combined with a corresponding comprehensive protection for free exercise.

Keywords: Religion, Belief, Federal Constitutional Democracies

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Babie, Paul T. and Bhanu, Arvind P., Freedom of Religion and Belief in India and Australia: An Introductory Comparative Assessment of Two Federal Constitutional Democracies (2018). (2018) Pace Law Review 39 (1) 1-41; U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2019-71. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3398644

Paul T. Babie (Contact Author)

Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia
+61 8 8313 5521 (Phone)
+61 8 8313 4344 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchers.adelaide.edu.au/profile/paul.babie

Arvind P. Bhanu

Amity University ( email )

ASET- IT Department, Sec-125
Amity University, Sector 125
Noida, Uttar Pradesh 2013003
India

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