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Religionsfrihetens rättsliga ramar
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines the legal status and legal framework of freedom of religion that is guaranteed in the Instrument of Government and the European Convention of Human Rights. The right to freedom of religion is defined in the second chapter in the Instrument of Government: Everyone shall be guaranteed the following rights and freedoms in his or her relations with the public institutions: freedom of worship: that is, the freedom to practise one’s religion alone or in the company of others.

Contrary to the other freedoms that are defined in the same paragraph, freedom of religion is an absolute right that can’t be restricted. One of the purposes in this dissertation is to illuminate what the protection that is guaranteed in the Instrument of Government includes. What is the meaning of the words “practice” and “manifestation” and what can be seen as a “restriction” according to the Instrument of Government? The European Convention on Human Rights also iterates a freedom of religion in its article 9. A second question address by this thesis is to what extent the rights to freedom of religion as enumerated in the Instrument of Government and article 9 in the European Convention on Human Rights are compatible.

The dissertation additionally aims at illuminated how the concept of freedom of religion has been applied in Sweden. How have lawmakers reasoned with regards to different questions concerning religion? As we will see, that seems to vary. Three different concrete examples will be examined: religiously motivated slaughter, religiously motivated circumcision and religious symbols in the public sphere. Together, these questions show that the delineation of freedom of religion has varied depending on the opposing interest.

This thesis further seeks to address two additional important issues: first, whether it is possible to balance the absolute right of freedom of religion against any other right, and second, the impact of categorization. The categorization of practices under the headings of tradition, religion and culture is often determinative as to which are protected. This thesis presents an analytical tool for understanding when a practice is considered religious, and thus protected under the Constitution’s provisions on freedom of religion.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Iustus förlag, 2013. , 281 p.
Skrifter från Juridiska fakulteten i Uppsala, ISSN 0282-2040 ; 124
National Category
Research subject
Public Law
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209888ISBN: 978-91-7678-864-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209888DiVA: diva2:659834
Public defence
2013-11-29, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Impact of Religion
Available from: 2013-10-31 Created: 2013-10-28 Last updated: 2014-10-08

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