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Read the report or watch the event ‘How should a liberal democracy react to conscientious objection claims?’

Debate on conscientious objection from legal, philosophical, theological and religious perspectives, and finally a discussion on how legislators and governments in liberal democracies should react to claims of conscience.

Read the report here or watch the panel sessions below.

Panel One Concepts of Conscience

Chair: Professor Bert Gordijn, Dublin City University


  • Professor Kimberley Brownlee, The University of British Columbia
  • Dr Katherine Furman, University of Liverpool

Panel Two Conscience in Legal Perspective: Challenges and Controversies

Chair: Professor David Smith, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences


  • Advocate General Gerard Hogan, Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Professor Ronan McCrea, University College London
  • Dr Regina McQuillan, St Francis Hospice

Panel Three Theological and Religious Perspectives on Conscience

Chair: Mary McAleese, MRIA, Professor of Children, Law and Religion, University of


  • Professor Linda Hogan, Trinity College Dublin
  • Professor David Albert Jones, The Anscombe Bioethics Centre
  • Professor David Novak, University of Toronto

Panel Four Reacting to Conscience Claims in the Public Square

Chair: Mr Bryan Dobson, RTÉ


  • Dr John Adentire, Queen Mary University of London
  • Professor Fiona de Londras, University of Birmingham
  • Senator Michael McDowell, Houses of the Oireachtas