IMG: Credits Matteo Boato, Famiglia, olio su tela, 100x100cm, 2012
Venue: Conference Room (Sala Conferenze), Faculty of Law, Via Verdi, 53 - Trento
The world map of legal traditions represents areas of legal monism (whether in the common law or in the civil law system) and areas of legal pluralism, normally indicated as hybrid or mixed jurisdictions when the coexisting distinct sets of rules belong to different legal traditions (civil law and common law, either civil law or common law and religious law, either civil law or common law and indigenous law, etc.).
Asia seems to be the continent where religion-based legal pluralism flourishes and is often tacitly assumed by national constitutions, that at their best attempt at giving it a normative framework establishing limits but eventually confirming its legitimacy, inasmuch as legal pluralism reflects religious pluralism in society and secular ideologies does not provide a proper ground for uniformity.
The European experience – both in civil law and in common law, although with different historical origins and developments and not without interesting nuances – is, on the contrary, easily characterised by legal monism, even more so when the shared normative standards are related to the field of protection of fundamental rights: in this field, the territorial foundation of state law ensures uniformity and equality among all citizens, irrespective of personal and group cultural, religious or philosophical identities. Nevertheless, the increasing cultural and religious pluralism in Europe, coupled with the deeply rooted constitutional protection of religious freedom, has been injecting some stress and tension on the general normative framework of the secular state and its incompatibility with a regime of religion-based system of personal laws; to the extent that the very essential scope of freedom of religion – at least with regard to some practices (e.g., male circumcision) - may be questioned and require some re-thinking.
The International Workshop on Religious Pluralism, Legal Monism and Personal Law Regimes: Comparing Experiences and Trends aims at (i) exploring some relevant Asian constitutional experiences, that reflect religious pluralism and traditional approaches with different degrees of legal pluralism; (ii) surveying existing areas of legal pluralism in Europe and, more in general, assessing the compatibility of religion-based legal pluralism with liberal constitutionalism as well as of claims by stronger cultural and religious minorities that express some pressure supporting a wider scope for legal pluralism; (iii) contributing to the current western discourse on how to cope with the problems raised by increasing social pluralism and its demands.
The legal pluralism taken into account is limited to the weak kind (recognised by the state and therefore subordinated to the authority of the sovereign), although the existing practice of strong legal pluralism needs to be considered as long as it may be the object of some sort of state intervention.
Inaugural Key Note Speech:
Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan
First session - Friday (morning) April 29th, 2016
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in India
Arun Thiruvengadam, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in Singapore
Arif A. Jamal, Law School, National University of Singapore
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in Malaysia
Andrew Harding, Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CASL), National University of Singapore, and Asian Law Institute (ASLI)
Confucian Constitutionalism and Personal Law Regimes
Bui Ngoc Son, Research Fellow, Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CASL), National University of Singapore
Second session - Friday (morning) April 29th, 2016
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in the United Kingdom
Prakash Shah, Queen Mary University, London
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in Israel
Michel Karayanni, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in Greece
Ilker Tsavousoglou, Ghent University
Constitutional Protection of and from Religion-based Personal Laws in Europe
Marco Ventura, University of Siena, Center for Religious Studies, FBK, Trento
Third session - Saturday(morning) April 30th, 2016
Chair: Werner Menski, SOAS, London
Legal Traditions, Religion-based Personal Laws and the Secular State in Europe
Lorenzo Zucca, King’s College, London
A Survey of Legal Pluralism and Religion-based Personal Laws in Europe
Roberto Mazzola, University of Eastern Piedmont
Legal Traditions, Religion-based Personal Laws and Mixed Legal Systems in Europe
Michele Graziadei, University of Turin
Marie-Claire Foblets, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
Roberto Toniatti, professor of comparative constitutional law, Faculty of Law, University of Trento
Erminia Camassa, professor of comparative religious law, Faculty of Law, University of Trento
Davide Strazzari, senior researcher in comparative and european constitutional law, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento
The participation is free, but we kindly ask you to please fill out the Registration form on-line