Minority Religions under Irish Law: Islam in national and International Context, Kathryn O'Sullivan (ed), (Brill 2019)

AuthorNorah Burns
PositionUniversity of Limerick
[2020] Irish Judicial Studies Journal Vol 4(2)
Kathryn O’Sullivan (ed),
Minority Religions under Irish Law: Islam in
national and International Context
(Brill 2019), ISBN 978-90-04-39823-8,
Dr Norah Burns, University of Limerick
There has been increased attention in recent years on the legal protections, or lack thereof,
afforded to religious minorities. As acknowledged by Dr Kathryn O’Sullivan, the editor of
this text, with the increasing flow of human migration, in particular in the twentieth century
from Muslim countries to Western, usually Christian majority countries, there has been an
increasing focus on the protections afforded to religious minorities. This edited collection is
a very useful overview of both the international and Irish protections for religious minorities.
The book includes chapters written by academics from a variety of backgrounds, which
allows the text to look at the topic of minority religions under Irish law from a variety of
perspectives. The text is divided into three parts and follows a logical structure which
includes nine chapters of insightful commentary on the protection of religious minorities in
both an international and Irish context, as well as in a variety of settings. Dr O’Sullivan is a
lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Limerick and has a strong record in the
areas of family property law and succession law. In recent years she has undertaken research
on law and religion in Ireland. In 2017, Dr O’Sullivan organised the Minority Religions under
Irish Law Symposium: Islam in National and International Context in the School of Law at
UL. This symposium was very well received and included experts from the US, Canada and
Europe, many of whom have chapters in this edited collection.
Part 1 of this book looks at accommodating minority religions from both international and
national perspectives and includes two chapters. The first chapter written by M. Christian
Green, a Senior Fellow and Research Director on Law, Religion, and Human Rights at
Emory University, focuses on international human rights law and global trends. Professor
Green suggests that there is an ‘emerging consensus’ on the importance of minorities and in
particular religious minorities. Her chapter begins by looking at the emergence and
development of freedom of religion or belief and then examines the rights of other minority
groups as group rights. Green provides a detailed insight into legal, political and
governmental initiatives in a number of countries, which have been aimed at managing
minority religions either directly or indirectly. Green’s chapter provides an excellent
conclusion in offering ‘overarching and transnational’ themes in religion and law, which
might be influencing factors behind these developments in individual countries. The second
chapter in this section is written by Dr Eoin Daly and focuses on the accommodation of
religious minorities in Ireland by looking at the constitutional framework in this State. Dr
Daly is a lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway and is the author of Religion,
Law and the Irish State (Clarus Press 2012). In his chapter, Dr Daly argues that the Irish
Constitutional framework concerning religion is marked by indeterminacy rather than
coherence. He also comments on how the Irish Constitution can be seen to appeal to
opposing principles with regard to the relation between State and religion, and how this can
lead to somewhat unpredictable results for religious minorities in case law.
Part 2 looks specifically at the Muslim community in Ireland and Islam and Irish law. This
section looks at a variety of different areas, from the history and demographics of the Muslim
community in Ireland, the accommodation of Islam in the Irish workplace, the recognition
of Muslim marriage ceremonies in Ireland, overseas marriage and divorce in Islamic form

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT