Religious Freedom and Non-discrimination Project

Grant Scheme

ARC Discovery Project




$162 000

Chief Investigators

Carolyn Evans and Beth Gaze

Carolyn is a recognised expert on religious freedom. She will take primary responsibility for the research into the issues for religious freedom raised by the research. She will also have primary responsibility for the work on the international law on both religious freedom and discrimination, as she has both teaching and research experience in international law.

Beth is a highly experienced discrimination lawyer and academic with experience in empirical studies of law. She will take charge of the research associated with domestic discrimination provisions in the comparator countries. This will include research into the interpretation and application of these laws by the relevant courts, tribunals and officials.

Project Summary

Achieving the right balance between adequately protecting religious freedom while staying true to principles of non-discrimination is far from easy. This project will advance understanding and analysis of religious freedom and equal treatment in Australia, in principle, in law and empirically. In the context of community tensions along ethno-religious lines, it will benefit Australia to have the issues at stake described and clarified. The project will identify the relevant interests at stake and develop policy recommendations for their protection. The aim is to contribute to inter-religious (and inter-cultural) harmony, as an element of safeguarding Australia.


  • EVANS, C – 'Religious Speech that Undermines Gender Equality' in Extreme Speech and Democracy, Ivan Hare and James Weinstein, Oxford University Press (2009) 357-374
  • EVANS, C – 'The Second Vatican Council on Religious Freedom' in Justice and Rights: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, M. Ipgrave, Georgetown University Press (2009) 4,000 words (in press)
  • EVANS, CM – Introduction in CANE, P, EVANS, CM & ROBINSON, Z (eds) Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context (Cambridge University Press, 2008) 1-15.
  • EVANS, C & UJVARI, D – 'Non-discrimination Laws and Religious Schools in Australia' (2009) Adelaide Law Review (forthcoming)
  • EVANS, C – 'Religious Vilification Laws in Australia' (2008) Revista Iustel: Carta al Consejo Asesor Internacional ( 8,300 words
  • EVANS, C – 'Religious Education in Public Schools: an International Human Rights Perspective' (2008) 8 Human Rights Law Review 449-473
  • EVANS, C – 'Religion as Politics not Law: the Religion Clauses in the Australian Constitution' (2008) 36 Religion, State and Society 283-302
  • EVANS, C and Gaze B: Between Religious Freedom and Equality: Complexity and Context 49 Harv. Int'l L. J. Online 40 (2008) see
  • EVANS, C and GAZE, B – 'Religious Freedom and Non-discrimination Laws' (2007) 16 Human Rights Defender 5
  • EVANS, CM, HOOD A & MOIR J – From Local to Global and Back Again: Religious Freedom and Women's Rights in Chen K, Puig G and Walker G (eds) Rights Protection in the Age of Global Terrorism 112-130 (Federation Press, 2007)

Conference Presentations

  • EVANS, CM – 'Religious Freedom under the European Convention on Human Rights: Cracks in the Intellectual Architecture' seminar to the Centre for Law and Religion Studies, (Emory Law School, Atlanta 25 March 2009; also given at Oxford University on 17 March 2009)
  • EVANS, CM – 'Constitutional Narratives: Foreign, International and Religious Law in Constitutional Adjudication in Australia and Malaysia' in a Public Lecture (Emory Law School, Atlanta 22 March 2009)
  • EVANS, CM – 'Women's Consent to Discriminatory or Harmful Religious Practices' at a conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief and Protecting Vulnerable Identities: A Global Snapshot (Geneva, Switzerland, 21-22 June 2008)
  • EVANS, CM - The Uneasy and Under-theorised Relationship between Non-discrimination Laws and Religious Schools, International Conference on Law, Religion and the State: South Asia and Beyond, New Delhi 14-16 February 2008
  • EVANS, CM – 'Religious Controversy and Curriculum Design in State Schools: An International Human Rights Perspective' (Hanoi, Vietnam, conference on Religion and the Rule of Law in South East Asia, 2-4 November 2007)
  • EVANS, CM – Religious Freedom and Women's Equality (Athens, Greece: World Conference of Constitutional Law,
  • EVANS, CM – 'Spirited Girls who would not Know their Place': Religious Speech Directed Against Women's Equality (University of Cambridge, conference on Extreme Speech and Democracy, 21 April 2007; repeated at Bristol Faculty of Law, 25 April 2007)
  • EVANS, CM – Religious Freedom and Women's Rights (Oxford Society for Law and Religion, 24 April 2007; repeated at Liverpool Law Faculty, 26 April 2007)