Past Presidents

Ana Maria Célis (Santiago, Chile)
Ana María Celis Brunet is an attorney at law, Professor and Director of the Law and Religion Center of the Facultad de Derecho at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago). She obtained her law degree at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago), and her Canon law degrees (ICL and ICD) at the Facoltà di Diritto Canonico of the Pontificia Università Gregoriana (Rome), where she also received a diploma in Giurisprudenza Matrimoniale Canonica. Since 2000 she has been teaching Canon law and also some courses on Church - State relations. She is the director of the UC Law and Religion Center - Derecho UC that started in 2005 as a center for studying Church-State matters and promoting religious freedom. Between 2009 and 2013 she was also president.

W. Cole Durham, Jr. ( Provo, U.S.A.)
Multiple honors have come to W. Cole Durham, Jr., including a university professorship, appointment as co-chair of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the International First Freedom Award from the First Freedom Center of Richmond Virginia, an honorary doctorate from Ovidius University in Constan?a, Romania, and service as vice president of the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Professor Durham has been heavily involved in comparative constitutional law and church-state relations throughout his career. He has published widely on Comparative Law, and he currently serves as the chair of both the Comparative Law Section and the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools. He is a member of several U.S. and international advisory boards dealing with religious freedom and church-state relations.

Silvio Ferrari (Milan, Italy) - Life Honorary President
Professor at the Universities of Milan, where he teaches Law and Religion and Canon Law. He has been visiting professor in Paris (École Pratique des Hautes Études) and Berkeley (University of California) and has worked for many international organizations, including the European Union. He has founded, together with other professors, the European Consortium for Church and State Research. Professor Ferrari is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Institut européen en sciences des religions (EPHE, Paris) and of the Board of Expert of the International Religious Liberty Association (Silver Spring, Maryland); he is co-editor in chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. His main fields of interest are Law and Religion; Comparative Law of Religions (in particular Jewish Law, Canon Law and Islamic Law); Relations between Israel and the Vatican

President: Javier Martínez-Torrón (Madrid, España)
Javier Martínez-Torrón has been a professor of law (Catedrático) at Complutense University of Madrid since 2000. Formerly a professor at the University of Granada (1993 - 2000), his areas of interest are comparative law, law and religion, marriage law and canon law. In these areas he has published extensively in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. He has taught or lectured at numerous universities and international conferences in the five continents. He has developed part of his research at various universities in Europe and America, such as Cambridge, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Freiburg, and Stanford, among others. He is co-founder and co-editor of the Revista General de Derecho Canónico y Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado (2003), the first electronic legal periodical in Spain specialized on Church-State relations and canon law. He is vice president of the canon law and law-and-religion section of the Spanish Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation, and honorary foreign member of the National Academy of Law and Social Sciences of Córdoba (Argentina). He is a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, and a former member of the OSCE/ODIHR Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion or Belief (2005-20013) and the Advisory Commission on Religious Freedom in the Spanish Ministry of Justice (2002-2014).

Vice President: Mark Hill (Cardiff, United Kingdom)
Mark has more than twenty years experience of common law practice advising and representing clients in a broad range of cases including personal injury, professional negligence, rating, costs, trusts of land, property disputes and village greens. Against this wide background he has developed an expertise in the law of religious liberty and is recognized as the country's leading practitioner in ecclesiastical law. He is an Honorary Professor of Law at Cardiff University and formerly Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Mark is Honorary Professor at the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University; Extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria; Visiting Professor at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King's College London and Adjunct Professor at Notre Dame University, Sydney and is Ecumenical fellow in Canon Law at the Venerable English College in Rome. He was elected a Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 2011 and appointed President of the European Consortium for Church and State Research in 2012. He sits as a Recorder on the Midland Circuit in criminal, civil and family cases, is a qualified Mediator was a legal assessor to the Fitness to Practise Panel of the General Medical Council (2008-2015). He regularly publishes and lectures on matters of Church and State and was a contributing editor for Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law (2010).

Steering Committee

Rodrigo Vitorino Alvez, Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia, Brazil, South America

Carmen Asiain Pereira, University of Montevideo, Uruguay, South America

Alessandro Ferrari, University of Insubria, Italy, Europe

Amal Idrissi, University of Moulay Ismail, Meknès, Morocco, Africa

Asher Maoz, Peres Academic Center School of Law, Israel, Asia

Brett G. Scharffs, Brigham Young University Law School, U.S.A., North America

Li-Ann Thio, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Asia


Secretariat: Cristiana Cianitto