Constitutional Cultures Creating Constitutional Space

Brett G. Scharffs is Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law for the BYU Law School.  Brock Mason is a Student Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and PhD Candidate at Fordham University.

Gathered in Paris, France more than 70  years ago, the newly minted United Nations met to consider and vote on an important resolution. Drafted in the aftermath of World War II and its horrific humanitarian tragedies, Resolution 217A expressed deep aspirations to recognize, protect, and promote human rights throughout the world. And on December 10, 1948, with no country voting against it, Resolution 217A—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)—was adopted by the General Assembly. 

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In Memoriam: Norberto Padilla


Our friend and colleague Norberto Padilla passed away in his native Buenos Aires from complications following stomach surgery. He was 76. He was serving as president of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom at the time of his death. He was a founding member of that Consortium and also of the Argentine Council on Religious Liberty (CALIR). He worked closely in partnership with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU. Continue reading “In Memoriam: Norberto Padilla”

Combating Racism


This  note from our dean, Gordon Smith, to the BYU Law School Community, is reprinted with permission, and our gratitude. 

Dear Law School Community,

Each time I enter our law building, I see an art exhibit captioned “Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere.” The exhibit features stunning portraits of people from Ecuador, France, Mongolia, Niger, and Pakistan by renowned photographer Steve McCurry. The title of the exhibit alludes to the Punta del Este Declaration on Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere, which has been promoted by the Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to remember, reaffirm, and recommit to the notion that “equal human dignity of everyone everywhere is the foundational principle of human rights and reminds us that every person is of value and is worthy of respect.”

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