Law, Religion, and Economic Development

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Newcastle Law School academic presents at G20 Interfaith Summit

Associate Professor Neil Foster of the Newcastle Law School spoke as part of a panel on Law and Religion at the G20 Interfaith Summit, hosted on the Gold Coast by Griffith University from November 16 to 18 in connection with the recent G20 Economic Summit in Brisbane. The Interfaith Summit provided an examination of the link between religious freedom and economic development at local, national and international levels. Associate Professor Foster spoke as part of a discussion on the relationship between freedom of religion and involvement of believers in the commercial world, and addressed issues relating to how workplaces can accommodate freedom of religion. He discussed issues which have been litigated in courts around the world, such as the question of whether an airlines worker can be required not to wear a cross as jewellery, and whether those who provide boarding house or camp accommodation can decline to offer a booking to people based on their religious convictions. These cases related to the broader issues of whether believers who offer general commercial services in the marketplace, can do so in a way which is consistent with their fundamental religious commitments? Can a believer who is an employee maintain their religious identity while working for a "secular" employer? If so, what are the appropriate limits? 

The event brought together opinion leaders such as scholars, lawyers and political leaders with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue. Associate Professor Foster's conference paper can be downloaded here:

Visit the G20 Interfaith Summit website for more information, including links to other presentations.

Learn more about Associate Professor Neil Foster at his Researcher Profile page.

  • Associate Professor Neil Foster
  • Phone: (02) 4921 7430

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.