Agreement and Conventions between the State and Religious Groups:Tools and Results

6 December 2019
Versione stampabile

Venue: Palazzo di Sociologia, via Verdi 26 (Trento) - Sala Professori (first floor)

Contemporary society is characterized by an increasing diversity, mobility and, therefore, by fragmentation which requires forms of accommodation in order to prevent conflicts. As a consequence, legal systems are dealing with identity issues, under different perspectives: religious, cultural, linguistic and so on. Courts and Parliaments are constantly engaged in an ongoing dialogue, which involves individuals, groups, state and local institutions, as well as a variety of stakeholders. The interactions among institutions, individuals and groups result often in the provision of specific legal tools, to deal with the claims of cultural and religious identities. Legal systems provide for different “instruments”, ranging from the creation of “new” rights, to the adjustment of existing rights, to the adoption of “exemption rights”, which provide for members of cultural and/or religious groups to be exempted from general legal rules and, rather, be subject to their own special rules.
One of the sources of “special” or “new rights” is given by the agreements between the state and religious groups, which are defined in different ways: concordats, religious agreements, conventions. States provides for different kind of arrangements with religious and identity groups but, in spite of the different forms, there are some common features. First: these agreements cover the same grounds and the comparison of the solutions adopted to face similar problems is quite interesting. Second: they are expressions of a “weak” legal pluralism, which entails the idea that religious law is subject to the authority of the state. This seminar will not deal with the concept of “strong” legal pluralism, although it would be useful to collect information on the actual practices that do take place even without any formal recognition by state authorities.
The seminar will provide for an overview of the definitions and analysis of the agreements between the State and religious and identity groups, comparing some national experiences. It will focus on the special rights, with particular regard to exemption rights. Religiously based rules will be explored, as interpreted by case law, in order to contribute to the understanding of their impact on the legal systems. 

9.15  Introduction

9.30 Francesco Alicino, LUM Jean Monnet University
The Concordat, the “intese” and beyond: instruments to regulate the relation between religious groups and the State in Italy

10.00 Adriaan Overbeeke, Amsterdam University
The State and religious groups. No agreements needed? The case of Belgium and the Netherlands 

11.00 Coffee Break

11.15 Mélanie Lopez, Université d'Artois
Les accord entre l’État et les religions : les «droits spéciaux» religieux en France et en Espagne

11.45 Rossella Bottoni, Trento University
The agreements between the States and religious groups : religious « special rights » in Germany

12.15  Conclusion
Marco Ventura, Siena University and Director of the Center for Religious Studies, FBK Trento

Scientific Commettee:
Roberto Toniatti, Erminia Camassa, Davide Strazzari, Cinzia Piciocchi (Trento University)

The participation is free of charge but we kindly ask the registration on line with the form (in the box LINK UTILI)