This paper considers minorities in English law through the prism of international standards related to both freedom of religion or belief, and minority rights. These two sets of international normative standards are brought together in order to emphasize the fact that persons belonging to religious minorities have access not only to general human rights standards including freedom of religion or belief, but also to minority rights. Combining the implications of these applicable rights, the paper will suggest that `religious minorities' should be (A) taken to include persons belonging to minorities on grounds of both religion or belief; (B) that their religious practice should not only be considered `manifestation' of religion or belief but also the practice of a minority culture; and that (C) states have a duty to protect the survival and continued development of the identity of religious minorities and allow such persons to enjoy their culture. The paper will then move to considering a few recent cases in English law, in order to examine the extent to which these three implications are realized within them. University Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford. The research for this piece was undertaken with financial support from
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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