Hussein on Legal Reform and Women’s Rights in Yemen

Douaa Hussein  (American U. in Cairo – Dept. of Law) has posted Legal Reform as a Way to Women’s Rights: The Case of Personal Status Law in Yemen. The abstract follows.

In this paper, the researcher argues that the legal reform of the Personal Status Law is not sufficient to ensure gender equality within the Yemeni context where the religious and cultural value systems of rights remain untouched. Narrow and conservative interpretation of sharia forms the main conceptualization of the rights in the current law. The tribal value system and conceptualization of rights and its practices on the ground has affected the equitable marital rights. The researcher further claims that the current law which is premised mainly on sharia, consolidates the concept of ‘Wrong Rights’, obstructing women’s efforts to ensure equality in the Personal Status Law. Read more

Schwartzman on Questioning the Special Treatment of Religion

Micah Schwartzman  (U. of Virginia School of Law) has posted What if Religion is not Special? The abstract follows.

This Article argues that leading accounts of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses fail to provide a coherent and morally attractive position on whether religion warrants special treatment as compared with secular ethical and moral doctrines. Focusing on two central issues involving whether laws must have a secular purpose and whether religious exemptions are constitutionally mandatory, this Article rejects existing theories as either theoretically inconsistent or substantively mistaken. If religion does not warrant special treatment, then it is important to ask what our attitude should be toward the Religion Clauses. Under originalist theories of constitutional interpretation, the Religion Clauses should be considered morally regrettable. Under non-originalist theories, there may be interpretations of the constitutional text that allow for the possibility of moral reconciliation. Either way, rejecting the idea that religion is special requires reassessing our understanding of the Religion Clauses.

Welcome to Ashley Berner!

CLR Forum is delighted to welcome Ashley Berner as our very first guest for the month of February.  Ashley is a faculty fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, directed by James Davison Hunter.   She is the Co-Director, with Hunter, of the Institute’s Moral Foundations of Education Project, which explores modern American educational philosophy and practice.  Ashley holds a D. Phil. degree from Oxford in Modern History and her areas of research include nineteenth-century intellectual history, educational philosophy, and comparative educational systems.  Her current book project explores educational pluralism in the American context.

Please join us in welcoming Ashley to CLR Forum!