UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Myriam Hunter-Henin delivers inaugural lecture

18 December 2023

Professor Hunter-Henin delivered the lecture on ‘Religious Expression and Exemptions in the Private Sector Workplace’, as part of her official inauguration as Professor in Comparative Law and Law & Religion.

Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin

On 8 December, Professor Myriam Hunter-Henin delivered her inaugural lecture to a packed audience in Bentham House. High profile academics, judges, Faculty members as well as close friends and family were in attendance to watch the lecture on ‘Religious Expression and Exemptions in the Private Sector Workplace: Spotting Bias in Legal Reasoning', chaired by Professor Horatia Muir Watt (SciencesPo Paris Law School).

Professor Hunter-Henin discussed the balance courts must strike when ruling on religious freedom claims within the private sector workplace. She argued that courts in Europe have afforded minimalist and overly restrictive protection to religious interests. In contrast, the United States Supreme Court has granted a maximalist and excessive protection to religious interests in recent years.

The lecture demonstrated the flaws of each approach, with a focus on the European perspective; and examined the three main types of bias underlying these extreme positions: the state, the economic and the religious bias.

The event was held as part of UCL Laws' flagship public lecture series, Current Legal Problems (CLP). The lecture series and annual volume was established over 60 years ago and is recognised as a major reference point for legal scholarship.