Brian Bird: Conscience and Democracy

Date(s) - February 9, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Categories No Categories

Along with in-person lectures, we will also run parallel online access to these lectures. This online access will be live on Zoom and recordings on the CSRS YouTube channel. Click speakers’ names for Zoom sign-in information and more details.​

Join via Zoom at

Click here or the button above to access our YouTube channel for recordings.

All lectures include a live audience Q&A both in person and on the Zoom platform.

Section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of conscience and religion. These freedoms are closely related, but freedom of conscience has received far less attention to date. In this talk I argue that elected representatives in liberal democracies ought to be free to vote on legislation in accordance with their conscientious convictions.

I argue that granting this freedom (1) respects the complexities that confront elected representatives in a liberal democracy, (2) reflects the close relationship between law and normative considerations, and (3) facilitates robust debate on issues that are proposed to form the substance of legislation and thereby influence the shape and trajectory of a society.

Brian Bird is an Assistant Professor in the Allard School of Law at UBC. Brian’s scholarship focuses on fundamental rights and freedoms as well as constitutional law and theory.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *