2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Freedom of Religion and Judicial Independence: A Comparison with New Indicators
Jacob I. Thomeczek
Dr. Paul Parker, Faculty Mentor

Freedom of religion has long been considered one of the most fundamental human rights. Understanding of that right has evolved uniquely in various nations, causing similar countries to sometimes have different interpretations of that right. These differences are due to a variety of factors. This paper tests the hypothesis that a higher level of judicial independence within a nation's political system leads to a higher level of religious freedom, using a sample of 59 nations. Previous works on this subject, exemplified by reports compiled by Freedom House and the Commission on International Religious Freedom, have been subjective and do not attempt to measure the relationship directly. This paper utilizes newly developed measures for de jure and de facto judicial independence and freedom of religion, which allows for a more accurate operationalization of those concepts, leading to a more robust statistical analysis of that relationship.

Keywords: judicial independence, religious freedom, human rights

Topic(s):Political Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 52-5
Location: OP 2115
Time: 3:45

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