Constituting religion after Williams: The false dichotomy of theocracy and secularism

Deagon, Alex (2013) Constituting religion after Williams: The false dichotomy of theocracy and secularism. In After Williams Colloquium, 4 October 2013, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Qld. (Unpublished)


The Williams case is a relevant segue to consider the broader issue of constitutional relations between church and state in Australia. This paper argues that the dichotomous approach of theocracy as opposed to secularism is false and actually undermines the proper operation of s 116. A theocracy would contravene s 116 as an establishment of religion, but secularism also amounts to a conflict with s 116 as prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The necessary alternative is to find a middle ground compatible with s 116, one which will not establish any single state religion but will allow the contribution of different religious perspectives in the process of policy-making. This paper briefly considers how such an approach may be implemented.

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ID Code: 93770
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 16 Mar 2016 00:30
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2016 04:34

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