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39 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. [i] (2016)

handle is hein.journals/hasint39 and id is 1 raw text is: 





   HASTINGS INTERNATIONAL AND
         COMPARATIVE LAW Review


VOL.   39                 Winter   2016                 NO.  1


                         Table of Contents

                             ARTICLES
RELIGIOUS LAW  AND  WOMEN'S  HUMAN   RIGHTS: REFLECTIONS UPON
THE AFRICAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS SYSTEM
By Julia L. Ernst ................1........................

      In many countries, governments have permitted the application
    of religious laws and have delegated judicial authority to religious
    courts. These practices may violate women's human rights for at
    least four reasons. First, women are barred from  leadership
    positions within many religious institutions, and are therefore
    prevented from  helping interpret the religious precepts and
    develop the law that is being applied by the religious courts. This
    exclusion of  women   violates their right to participate in
    governance, democracy, and decision-making, which are essential
    components of law-making. Second, women   are excluded from
    serving as judges on religious courts, thereby calling into question
    the impartiality (both actual and perceived) of these tribunals.
    Third, the  law  applied by   religious courts is frequently
    discriminatory against women, e.g., in the area of family law. This
    violates women's right to equal protection of the law and to
    nondiscrimination. Fourth, considering the fact that the law
    applied by religious courts is based upon a particular religious
    interpretation held by the judges, this may be a violation of the
    right to the religious freedom of the parties appearing before the
    courts when the religious beliefs of the parties differ from those
    of the judges.

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