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Program Overview

Attending classes on religion and the rule of law.

Coursework and preparation to teach a course on law and religion. Each morning students will participate in intensive coursework in law and religion from an international law, human rights, and comparative law perspective with 6-10 of the world’s leading experts. This will prepare participants to teach a course themselves on law and religion adapted to local needs.

Before lunch each day, participants will attend two classes, 90 minutes each (typically, a 60-minute lecture followed by 30 minutes of Q&A). Distinguished international and local Oxford University faculty will be invited to offer these lectures. About one-third of the teaching will be done by Oxford professors or professors from other institutions in Great Britain, engaged to teach one or two lectures. Additional perspectives and expertise will be provided by leading scholars from around the world, many of whom serve on the Program’s International Academic Advisory Board. The Program’s goal is that by the end of the course, participants will be prepared to teach a course on comparative and international law and religion adapted to their locale.

Program participants will be nominated to become members of regional and international learned societies in the field of law and religion, and the Program will pay the first-year membership dues of successful candidates.

Each participant who completes the program will receive a certificate of completion. This is not an academic credential from Oxford University, but we hope it will become a recognized international reference in the fields of law and religion, international human rights law, and comparative constitutional law.

Receiving training in civil engagement and law reform.

An integral part of the teaching program will be preparing participants to engage in various efforts to promote freedom of religion and belief in their home countries and regions. The course will also provide practical training on how to get involved in law reform efforts and legislative drafting initiatives. Upon completing the Program, participants will have increased skills and confidence in engaging publicly in law reform efforts.

Preparing scholarly articles for English-language journals.

Writing boot camp. Each afternoon students will participate in “writing boot camp” under the supervision of experienced professional legal writing faculty. The goal is for each participant is to prepare an English-language scholarly article for submission to scholarly journals.

After being selected for the Program, participants will begin online tutorials with the Program’s legal writing faculty. This will help ensure participants arrive in Oxford with research and writing work that is already well underway, including having a clear thesis, an outline, having conducted a preemption check and literature review, and having established a bibliography. Preferably, a draft of the article will be complete before the Participant arrives in Oxford.

During the Program, afternoons will be devoted to writing and editing. Participants will attend writing clinics with individualized instruction from legal writing experts for work on a publishable English-language scholarly article, tutorials, peer review, and individual presentations. The standards and protocol of legal academic writing are very specific, and for many international graduate students and young professors, it is very difficult to develop the skills necessary to publish successfully in English-language journals. Having an English-language scholarly article underway by the end of the program will serve as a significant springboard to successful careers.

Presenting research to and networking with other scholars.

Participants will have the opportunity to present their research and to read each other’s work and provide peer feedback.

Global and regional networks of law and religion scholars. The networking and relationship building aspect of the Program will help participants become engaged members of various regional learned societies for law and religion around the world as well as the global International Consortium of Law and Religion Scholars (ICLARS). Regional consortia have regular annual conferences that will provide an opportunity for participants to remain engaged with professionals in the field of law and religion, and ICLARS sponsors a major international conference every other year.