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Disputation: Azin Tadjdini

Azin Tadjdini at Department of Public and International Law will be defending the thesis: Constitutional De-Secularization and Limitations in Equality of Liberty for the degree of Ph.D.

Azin Tadjdini

Photo: Privat

Trial lecture - time and place

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Benedikte Høgberg, University of Oslo (Leader and 2. opponent)
  • Professor Mikael Rask Madsen, University of Copenhagen (1. opponent)
  • Professor Frances Raday,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Postdoctor Tone Linn Wærstad will act as a substitute member for Professor Frances Raday during the defense.

Chair of defense

Professor Kirsten Sandberg



Constitutional de-secularization and limitations in equality of Liberty

How does a transition that involves a strengthening of the role of religion in a constitution impact the regulation of equality with respect to constitutional rights? And how does this kind of constitutional development compare to the standards of constitutionalism and the way such standards are articulated in international human rights law?
This study centres on the relationship between two features of modern constitutionalism: equality in liberty with respect to constitutional rights and constitutional secularity. What are the implications for the former when a change takes place in the latter?

The study addresses these questions through an elaboration in two general steps. First, by establishing the standards of constitutionalism and international human rights law with respect to equality in liberty and constitutional secularity. Here, the study highlights the link between equality in liberty as the basis for constitutionalism and constitutional secularity as a normatively dependent principle of governance. This entails a particular qualification of the notion of “constitutionalism”. In this step, the study raises the question of the extent to which constitutionalism precludes constitutions with external aims that are in conflict with equality in liberty. In the second step, the study examines how constitutional de-secularization affects equality in liberty with respect to three specific constitutional rights under the constitutions of Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. These rights are 1) freedom of thought, 2) freedom of expression, and 3) the right to political participation.

A premise for the study’s approach is that equality in liberty is a constitutive element of constitutionalism and therefore the basis for justifying political authority and its relationship with individuals. The achievement of constitutionalism, therefore, sets a direction for constitutional developments towards the reduction and ultimate removal of external aims. The study argues that constitutional de-secularization, by contrast, is an impediment to the achievement of constitutionalism not primarily because of religion itself, but because it is a transition that involves a strengthening of an external aim.


Published Sep. 27, 2016 3:20 PM - Last modified Sep. 29, 2016 2:39 PM