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Title: Law and religious organizations : exceptions, non-interference and justification
Author: Norton, Jane Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 6755
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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While the United Kingdom has a general commitment to religious freedom, there is currently very little written on what this commitment ought to mean for religious organizations. This thesis contributes to religious freedom literature by considering when United Kingdom law ought to apply to religious organizations. It answers this question by exploring certain potential conflicts between United Kingdom law and religious organizations paying particular attention to those that are under-examined and where the possibility of differential treatment is strongest. The thesis is divided into three parts. Part One consists of Chapter One and sets out the doctrinal and theoretical foundations of religious freedom. Here the thesis accepts that autonomy is the liberal normative justification for religious freedom. Part Two consists of Chapters Two to Chapter Seven and examines the interaction between United Kingdom law and religious organizations in six contexts: employment; the provision of goods and services; membership admission; internal discipline, internal property disputes; and family matters. Each chapter in Part Two is divided into two parts. The first part considers the legal doctrine that applies to religious organizations in that context. It then considers whether that approach can be justified in light of the commitment to religious freedom and autonomy identified in Part One. Part Three consists of the final chapter, Chapter Eight. This chapter uses the conclusions from the preceding doctrinal chapters to suggest a general approach for determining when law should apply to religious organizations. The thesis concludes that a contextual approach, that considers the often competing interests involved, is the best way of determining when law should apply to religious organizations. Such consideration ought to pay special attention to the importance of the particular activity to ensuring that the option of a religious way of life is available.
Supervisor: Craig, Paul P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Constitutional & administrative law ; Human rights ; Philosophy of law ; Legal philosophy ; freedom of religion