Freedom of Religion and Public Interest: A Look at Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Europe

Sept. 28 | 12:00-13:00 EST | Zoom

Freedom of religion or belief may be “limited” under most national constitutions and international human rights treaties on grounds of public safety, order, health or morals, and the rights of others. Please join us for a discussion with Gehan Gunatilleke on how constitutional and treaty provisions are vulnerable to majoritarian infiltration. The webinar will explore case studies from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Europe to illustrate how states often interpret the term “public” to mean the majority’s views, and the ways in which majoritarian conceptions of limitation grounds can threaten the rights of religious minorities. We will also discuss alternative conceptions of constitutional and treaty interpretations to constrain a state’s ability to advance majoritarian interests. Yee Htun will moderate the conversation.
Gehan Gunatilleke, Visiting Fellow, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World
Yee Htun, Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Clinic, as Discussant
Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School and HLS Advocates for Human Rights.