Dr. Iain Benson returns to the Project Advisory Board

News Release
For immediate release

Protection of Conscience Project

Dr. Iain Benson has returned to the Protection of Conscience Project Advisory Board. Dr. Benson was a member of the Board from early 2018 to the fall of 2022, when he stepped down due to other commitments. He is Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney (2016, ongoing) and
Extraordinary Professor of Law, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein South Africa (2009, ongoing).

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the father of seven children, Professor Benson is an academic, lecturer and practising lawyer specialising in pluralism and human rights.  His particular focus is on freedoms of association, conscience and religion, the nature of pluralism, multi-culturalism and relationships between law, religion and culture. He has been involved in many of the leading cases on rights of association, conscience and religion in Canada and abroad for two decades.  As a barrister he has appeared before all levels of court and his work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

He was one of the drafters of the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (signed by all major religions in that country in September 2010) and remains closely involved in advancing the Charter in that country and similar projects elsewhere. He was Special Rapporteur on Law and Religion in Canada and South Africa to the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences, Vatican City ( May, 2011, pub’d in Acad. Proceedings, 2012).

Author of over 40 academic articles and book chapters, he is co-editor with Tom Angier and Mark D. Retter of The Cambridge Handbook of Natural Law and Human Rights (C.U.P., 2023) and with Barry W. Bussey, of Religion Liberty and the Jurisdictional Limits of Law (Toronto: Lexis Nexis, 2017); he authored “Subsidiarity: Ancient and Contemporary Accounts” in Nicholas Aroney and Ian Leigh (eds) Christianity and Constitutionalism (O.U.P., 2022) as well as a monograph, Living Together with Disagreement: Pluralism, the Secular and the Fair Treatment of Beliefs by Law (Ballan Australia: Connor Court, 2012). His scholarly work is referred to in many books and articles.

He teaches Legal Philosophy, Legal History, Public International Law, Law and Religion and Contemporary Legal Issues and examines and supervises at Masters and Doctoral levels. He works in English and French, dividing his time between Australia (where he now lives) and France, South Africa and Canada (in the latter two of which he has or has had appointments).
[Faculty profile]

Contact: Sean Murphy, Administrator
Protection of Conscience Project
email: protection@consciencelaws.org

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