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Towards Religiously Neutral Governance

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Chapter Summary

This study addresses the question of how the different modes of state-religion identification affect the state's scope for compliance with human rights. The systemic objections raised by this study amount to a dismissal of state intervention with the observance of religious laws. In this study it is contended that an assessment of establishment of religion on the basis of the autonomous 'equality before the law' principle shows most conclusively that legal establishment of a religion is very problematic and would indeed appear to be incompatible with human rights law. It is concluded that a constitutional promise of non-denominationalism, for both present and future reference, best equips states to fully implement and mainstream fundamental rights. States must respect everyone's right to religiously neutral governance.

Keywords: human rights law; religious laws; religiously neutral governance; state-religion identification; systemic objections



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