Religion in Scots Law: Report of an Audit at the University of Glasgow

Humanist Society Scotland commissioned this research in November 2014. The motivation for this commission came from the increased public and political awareness of the changing role of religion and belief in Scottish public life. Our history, our institutions and our society have been shaped by religious and non-religious believers over centuries. At a time when Scotland remains in deep conversation about where we are going, it is necessary that we first understand where we are now and how we got here.

From the outset, the scope that HSS set for this project was that it should be a wide audit of the ways in which religious individuals or organisations were specifically protected or privileged in Scots Law. Another key objective of this project was to help develop the sophistication of the ongoing debate about the role of religion in public life. Understandably, issues of religion and belief sometimes elicit an emotional or highly sensitive response. We wanted to help produce a document which could be used to inform all sides of this debate, and, hopefully, to contribute to a better quality of discussion.

In order to do that, HSS and the University of Glasgow agreed that this report should be published in full, free of charge in the public domain. We hope that this will be a useful document to academics, policy-makers and campaigners, as well as members of the general public who are interested in these issues.



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