Document Type : Research Article

Author

Irish Centre for Human Rights National University of Ireland- Galway

Abstract

In international human rights law the application of the principle of ‘equality’ along with the ‘preservation of characteristics’ have been considered as the corner stones of a system for the protection of minorities. Regarding the ‘right of minorities to identity’ the regime of ‘personal legal autonomy’ will be of special interest to this study. While this phenomenon in non-Muslim countries is very rare, it is a common policy in the majority of Muslim countries.
Despite the advantages of this regime, its discriminatory aspects stand in contrast with the main principle of human rights law, i.e. the principle of non-discrimination. This paper undertakes a comparative study of the legislation and legal practices of different states, in order to discern the ways that the conflicts of religious laws might affect the principle of non-discrimination. On the concept of non-discrimination the study makes a distinction between discrimination on the ground of religion and discrimination in religious rights.

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