Chicago Journal of International Law

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The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects minorities’ rights of conscience and expression. The related jurisprudence, however, has yet to fully develop protections for the expression of non-religious minorities in predominately religious countries. Especially in the context of a violent reaction to non-religious expression and the reaction’s relation to the ICCPR’s prohibition of incitement, the jurisprudence needs clarification. This Comment provides a framework to do just that, while strengthening protections for non-religious minorities and staying faithful to the ICCPR’s text and Human Rights Committee (HRC) precedent. It focuses on Articles 18 and 19, which guarantee the freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, respectively, and Article 20, which prohibits the advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence. Specifically, it argues that the HRC’s jurisprudence related to these articles, read harmoniously with other articles, contains a nascent anti-heckler’s veto doctrine that should be made explicit in order to ensure the protection of non-religious minorities.