Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Religion Provisions of the Constitution of Kosovo (2008)

One of my current research projects involves analysis of the religion provisions of various constitutions enacted since the year 2000. From time to time on this blog, I'll post extracts of those provisions arranged according to categories such as "Religious Freedom" (guarantee of individual rights), "Established Religion" (joining religion and government), "Establishment Clause" (separating religion and government), "Ceremonial Deism" (symbolic references to religion that have little or no legal effect), "Equal Protection of Religion" (non-discrimination guarantees), "Preamble", "Religious Education", and "Religious Limitations."
Here we have passages from the Constitution of Kosovo.  It has a robust assortment of rights relating to freedom of religion, equal protection, and state neutrality.  Article 9, stating that the Republic "ensures the preservation and protection of its cultural and religious heritage" is an unusual one and I'm unsure what measures it would authorize.

Kosovo Constitution (2008)

Establishment Clause

Article 8 [Secular State]
The Republic of Kosovo is a secular state and is neutral in matters of religious beliefs.


Article 9 [Cultural and Religious Heritage]
The Republic of Kosovo ensures the preservation and protection of its cultural and religious

Equal Protection Religion

Article 24(2)  No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of race, color, gender, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, relation to any community,
property, economic and social condition, sexual orientation, birth, disability or other
personal status.

Religious Freedom

Article 38 [Freedom of Belief, Conscience and Religion]
1. Freedom of belief, conscience and religion is guaranteed.
2. Freedom of belief, conscience and religion includes the right to accept and manifest
religion, the right to express personal beliefs and the right to accept or refuse membership
in a religious community or group.
3. No one shall be required to practice or be prevented from practicing religion nor shall
anyone be required to make his/her opinions and beliefs public.
4. Freedom of manifesting religion, beliefs and conscience may be limited by law if it is
necessary to protect public safety and order or the health or rights of other persons.

Article 39 [Religious Denominations]
1. The Republic of Kosovo ensures and protects religious autonomy and religious
monuments within its territory.
2. Religious denominations are free to independently regulate their internal organization,
religious activities and religious ceremonies.
3. Religious denominations have the right to establish religious schools and charity
institutions in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

Article 59.  Members of communities shall have the right, individually or in community, to:
(1) express, maintain and develop their culture and preserve the essential elements of
their identity, namely their religion, language, traditions and culture;


Article 58(5). The Republic of Kosovo shall promote the preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of all communities as an integral part of the heritage of Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo shall have a special duty to ensure an effective protection of the entirety of sites
and monuments of cultural and religious significance to the communities.

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