Religious Freedom and Religious Antidiscrimination

Ilias Trispiotis


This article develops a theoretical framework that prompts a new understanding of the role of religious freedom and religious antidiscrimination in human rights law. Proceeding from the prevailing theoretical and doctrinal uncertainty over the relationship between the two rights, which are currently seen as either synonymous or as distinct and in competition, the article develops an account of the moral right to ethical independence and argues that religious freedom and religious antidiscrimination share their main normative basis on that moral right. However, religious freedom and religious antidiscrimination have different emphasis, and both are essential to secure fair background circumstances for the pursuit of different individual plans of life. The proposed framework illuminates the relationship of individual and collective aspects of religious freedom with discrimination law. The analysis has crucial implications for human rights interpretation in cases involving state interference with liberty, in relation to religion or belief, and more broadly.

Published September 2019
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 82
Issue 5
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230