Law Conference: ‘Freedom of Belief: Freedom of Action’



6 October 2017

The University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Law, Sydney, will hold its second annual Religious Liberty Conference in conjunction with its seventh annual Religious Liberty Lecture.

This year's conference to be held from 19 October – 20 October 2017 will explore the ways that freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are under threat in the modern world with a focus on Australia and the Middle East.

“The Religious Liberty Conference will examine the real scope of freedom of belief which is far more than freedom to worship in private but clearly extends to freedom of action,” says Professor Michael Quinlan, Dean School of Law Sydney.

“The conference will resonate with all concerned about the erosion of civil liberties: whether they are religious or not.”

The two-day event will feature engaging presentations by leading experts from the academia, the legal profession and from the arts, including Professor Rex Tauati Ahdar Faculty of Law University of Otago and Adjunct Professor, The University of Notre Dame Australia School of Law, Sydney who will give the annual Religious Liberty Lecture.

Speakers will present thought-provoking discussion on why it is important to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience in Australia and will cover a series of topics including:

  • the economic value of religion in Australia
  • the fading memory of sectarianism in Australia
  • religious freedom, spirituality and Australia’s indigenous peoples
  • the experience of Australia’s Islamic peoples
  • the inherent nature of religiosity
  • the role of corporates in supporting social or political agendas
  • the religious freedom of corporates – is there such a right?
  • religious belief and the workplace
  • religious belief and schools
  • how the redefinition of marriage (should it occur) would interact with anti-discrimination law to interfere with freedom of religion
  • freedom of conscience and freedom of action associated with the voluntary termination of pregnancy
  • freedom of religion and proposals to curtail religious confession privilege

The conference will also feature the launch of two important books on religious liberty: Iain T. Benson and Barry G. Bussey (eds), Religion, Liberty and the Jurisdictional Limits of the Law and Ronald J. Rychlak and Jane F. Adolphe (eds). The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East.


Media Contact – Antonia Maiolo +61 2 8304 4141 | 0431 856 077 | antonia.maiolo@nd.edu.au