Religious Freedom and Legal Education
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legal education
constitutional Law
religious-freedom awareness

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Longchapms de Berier, F. (2022). Religious Freedom and Legal Education. Forum Prawnicze, (6(68), 22–33.


For what was obvious yesterday is not necessarily obvious today, i.e., to the present generation of young citizens. In the past, freedom of religion for all has always been an important element of constitutional guarantees, but one wonders whether religious freedom would be defended by the present younger generation. In particular, would the young of Europe defend it? The answer, unfortunately, is most probably in the negative. But maybe the United States is different - is indeed our Euro-Atlantic world divided on the issue of religion and its role in modern societies?

Legal history, in giving the opportunity to take advantage of the experience of past generations and their systems, can prove itself to be quite practical when applied in the field of legal studies, i.e., for legal research or analyses. Legal history teaches that constitutional orders have been formed for centuries and it seems likely that all were established with the intent of enduring forever; nevertheless, we know that in practice they are always in a continuous process of refinement and development and will change during the life of any particular society or state. Inevitably, then, some systems and epochs will be richer than others in their understanding of ways to put in normative order what is needed for a society in those situations that require regulation.

Legal history teaches that freedom of religion always comes at a price. The crucial point is who has to pay the price. Freedom cannot defend itself. It needs its own witnesses, martyrs and, above all, guardians and protectors. Recently, that is during the last two terms, the Supreme Court of the United States has sent out a series of instructive and influential signals that protection of religion should be strengthened. The relevant cases are American Legion v. American Humanist Association (2019), Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (2020), Little Sisters for the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania (2020), Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru (2020) and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (2021).
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