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Abstract

Religious communities and churches have traditionally been significant sources of employment. Many European countries have found ways to integrate into their legal systems particularities of religious employment that are alien to other areas of labor law. Until recently, constitutional courts have been reluctant to question the right of churches to define the occupational requirements of their secular employees, but the recognition of church autonomy in religious employment has not been straightforward in the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

This paper provides some reflections on where Europe may be headed in this field, and whether well-tested principles, such as denominational neutrality, may offer some insight on how to address the still unresolved conflict between important human rights: freedom of religion and the right to autonomy of religious employers, and the individual fundamental freedoms of their employees.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State
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In: Journal of Law, Religion and State
In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

Universities that are incorporated under a secular charter face a number of challenges in claiming religious exemptions or religious character. These secularly chartered but religiously motivated universities (SCbRMU) often are attempting to get the best of both worlds, by maintaining entitlement to government funding that is exclusive to secular entities while also claiming religious protections. In this paper, Yeshiva University (yu) is used as a case study of the difficulties faced by these institutions. yu has been sued by a group of students and alumni for refusing to authorize an official lgbt club, and yu has argued that it is entitled to a religious exemption from New York City anti-discrimination laws. This paper discusses the history of yu and its relationship with lgbt rights, as well as relevant case law concerning religious education, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and religious exemptions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the legal options a SCbRMU has when faced with these issues, including shedding part of its identity (either the religious or the secular), maintaining the status quo, and defiance. Ultimately, none of the options are ideal for such an institution, and the nature of the conflict for yu, when discrimination against funding religious institutions leads to the financial need for a secular charter, and the school’s secular status then leads to difficulty receiving a religious exemption from anti-discrimination laws, show that society is not tolerant of ambiguity in this scenario, and institutions are better served if they avoid these contradictions.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

Abstract

The question of the relation between wrongful discrimination and the freedom of conscience and religion has been the subject of many debates over the past decade and has occupied both courts and the public. The most well-known legal case in that regard is likely Masterpiece Cakeshop, in which a Colorado bakery owner refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple and was sued for violating the State’s Anti-Discrimination law. Recently, the Supreme Court of the U.S has agreed to hear yet another Colorado case, 303 Creative llc v. Elenis, in which a website designer wanted to post a message saying she will not design websites for same-sex weddings.

The purpose of our article is to point to a significant distinction between a refusal to serve clients on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., and a refusal to serve them because such service requires the providers to engage in activities or projects to which they deeply oppose. We think the latter case, sometimes, might not at all be discrimination. Importantly, we distinguish between a deep objection to the content of the service or product requested and a rejection of the client because of her characteristics.

How can a supplier prove that his or her refusal to serve a client belonging to a “protected class” is based on the content of the product or service requested and not on the client’s characteristics? We formulate a two-prong test that courts in the US and UK have implicitly adopted. We ask, first, whether the supplier would refuse the same service to a client not belonging to the protected class, and second, whether the supplier would serve the same client (belonging to a protected class) with other products and services. If the answer to both questions is positive, then the supplier’s refusal is not wrongful discrimination because it shows an objection to the product or service requested and not a rejection of the client. In practice, this test is not always easy to apply. We therefore developed an epistemological model to substantiate the conditions that may help providers persuade the courts that their refusal to serve a client stems from the content of the request, not from the client’s identity.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

Abstract

This article critically assesses the criminal law approach to labour exploitation and challenges the assumption that its limited effectiveness depends on the hesitation and unwillingness of migrant workers to collaborate with competent authorities. It adopts a legal mobilisation approach to explore how law and litigation can effectively play a role in fighting labour exploitation. It does so by focusing on the experience of collective mobilisation of migrant farmworkers in the Agro Pontino in Italy. In accordance with the findings emerging from the case study, the article makes an attempt at rethinking strategies for fighting labour exploitation in Europe, based on the needs and expectations of exploited workers as described in the 2019 FRA Report on labour exploitation. It proposes therefore an exercise of “legal imagination” that aims to identify under EU law the provisions that would allow to translate these needs and expectations into legal claims.

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Authors: and

Abstract

In the context of rising populist and nationalist politics amongst some EU states and throughout the world, the EU prides itself on the principle of free movement, and its adherence to a detailed set of human rights norms. However, this dichotomy obscures a more complex reality. The problem is that ‘free movement’ is conceived of, in EU terms, as solely relating to internal movement. When it comes to its external relations, the EU arguably comes to more closely resemble the politics of the critics of ‘free movement’ in the UK and elsewhere. The policy, colloquially known as ‘Fortress Europe’ has been around for some time, and the EU’s response to the refugees attempting to enter via the Mediterranean in recent years has not been defined by a humanitarian approach. Another way in which the EU’s prejudices around non-European migration can be observed is through its external relations with other states. We explore the case of EU-Turkey relations, and by doing so reveal the ways in which the EU has attempted to alter the policies of its partner, and putative member state, in ways that place burdens on migrants rather than relieving them. Turkey as the EU’s ‘candidate’ country has adopted these policies without much debate about alternatives to detention or ethics of detaining people as long as certain standards were met. This candidate-EU relationship, although strained a few years back, has finally led to the readmission agreement in 2015 where immigration detention became the norm.

In: European Journal of Migration and Law

Abstract

Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 enables Frontex to launch operations in the territory of third countries. Accordingly, status agreements between the EU and the Western Balkan countries as well as Moldova have been concluded. This article provides an in-depth analysis of these instruments. As this article will demonstrate, the conclusion of the status agreements constitutes an improvement, in comparison with the instruments of cooperation already in place. Yet, their implementation could lead to human rights violations. The status agreements provide that the team members sent by Frontex act under the instructions of the host state. Consequently, the third state would incur the prime responsibility for human rights violations committed by these border guards. This transfer of authority has not been stemmed from a transfer of jurisdiction over acts committed by the members of the team: rather they are entitled to immunity for all acts committed during their official functions.

In: European Journal of Migration and Law

Abstract

The war in Ukraine has caused a massive influx of people seeking protection in the European Union and has led to the activation, for the first time, of the Temporary Protection Directive. Although this influx mainly affects neighbouring countries, such as Poland and Romania, Portugal triggered, as early as 1 March 2022, the national temporary protection regime, thus granting immediate protection to people who were arriving because of the war. This article analyses this temporary protection regime, as well as the measures adopted to allow the rapid integration of those displaced persons, such as simplifying the recognition of professional qualifications, essential for their access to the labour market. Being special measures that only benefit citizens affected by the war in Ukraine, their compatibility with the constitutional principle of equality is questioned, as other foreigners equally affected by war and violation of human rights are excluded.

In: European Journal of Migration and Law