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Towards the Core of Conscience - A Study on Conscientious Objection in the Workplace under the Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

Dates:
  • Wed 18 Dec 2019 13.00 - 15.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-12-18 13:00 2019-12-18 15:00 Europe/Paris Towards the Core of Conscience - A Study on Conscientious Objection in the Workplace under the Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

This thesis is concerned with the protection of conscientious objection in the workplace under

the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, particularly as protected in Article 9 of the

European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, the aim of this thesis is to try to

identify particular norms under the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as apply to

instances of conscientious objection in the workplace, defined as instances of irreconcilable

conflict between an individual’s fundamental moral precepts and an otherwise applicable

work duty. In order to identify such norms, this thesis considers three case studies: first, the

jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Article 9 rights in the

workplace context, second, approaches to conscientious objection in the healthcare

profession, and third, approaches to selective conscientious objection in the professional

military. Having identified some tentative norms under the freedom of thought, conscience

and religion as apply to conscientious objection in the workplace, this thesis concludes by

considering whether the norms identified are ‘rules’ or ‘principles’ according to the

distinction articulated by Robert Alexy in A Theory of Constitutional Rights. This thesis

argues that correctly identifying the applicable norms as either rules or principles enables a

more coherent legal framework for approaching instances of conscientious objection in the

workplace to be constructed. Moreover, it is suggested that identifying particular norms as

either rules or principles allows for a reconceptualization of the freedom of thought,

conscience and religion based on an inalienable core of ‘rules’ surrounded by a more general

principle. It is argued that such a conceptualization addresses at least some of the criticisms

which have been voiced regarding the traditional forum internum/externum (or belief/practice)

construct of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle

This thesis is concerned with the protection of conscientious objection in the workplace under

the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, particularly as protected in Article 9 of the

European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, the aim of this thesis is to try to

identify particular norms under the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as apply to

instances of conscientious objection in the workplace, defined as instances of irreconcilable

conflict between an individual’s fundamental moral precepts and an otherwise applicable

work duty. In order to identify such norms, this thesis considers three case studies: first, the

jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Article 9 rights in the

workplace context, second, approaches to conscientious objection in the healthcare

profession, and third, approaches to selective conscientious objection in the professional

military. Having identified some tentative norms under the freedom of thought, conscience

and religion as apply to conscientious objection in the workplace, this thesis concludes by

considering whether the norms identified are ‘rules’ or ‘principles’ according to the

distinction articulated by Robert Alexy in A Theory of Constitutional Rights. This thesis

argues that correctly identifying the applicable norms as either rules or principles enables a

more coherent legal framework for approaching instances of conscientious objection in the

workplace to be constructed. Moreover, it is suggested that identifying particular norms as

either rules or principles allows for a reconceptualization of the freedom of thought,

conscience and religion based on an inalienable core of ‘rules’ surrounded by a more general

principle. It is argued that such a conceptualization addresses at least some of the criticisms

which have been voiced regarding the traditional forum internum/externum (or belief/practice)

construct of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.


Location:
Sala del Camino - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of Law

Type:
Thesis defence

Defendant:
Pilvi Tuulia Rämä (EUI - Law)

Examiner:
Prof. Gábor Halmai (EUI - Law Department)
Prof. Janneke Gerards (Utrecht University)
Prof. Malcolm David Sir Malcolm Evans (University of Bristol)

Supervisor:
Prof. Martin Scheinin (European University Institute)

Contact:
Claudia de Concini (EUI - Law) - Send a mail

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