The Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion (CEDIRE) is a unique and pionner initiative in Brazil, which aims to study the relationship between law, state and religion from national and international perspectives, as well as to promote the right to religious freedom in Brazil and abroad through outreach and legal assistance projects, supporting vulnerable communities, governments, and NGOs.
It is a Center established at the Federal University of Uberlandia (UFU) and affiliated to The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the United Nations Academic Impact Program (UNAI), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the Sergio Vieira de Mello Chair of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Brazil.
The Center organizes scientific meetings and conferences to stimulate valuable discussions and interactions. Its websites publish case law, national and international law, articles, comments, notes, reports, information on resources (journals, books, videos, websites), useful links and news related to religious freedom and religion-state relations.
The Center's projects aim to assist individuals and groups in vulnerable situation, including presenting amicus briefs before the Supreme Federal Court.
The Center has been working with several partners, including the Judiciary Power, the Public Attorney's Office, Federal Government, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.
Forum for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief
Legal Observatory on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Annual Law and Religion Research Meeting
CEDIRE Pro Bono Publico
International Law and Religion Moot Court
Lectures and Seminars
Law and Religion Study Group
The leading researcher
Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves is a member of the Faculty of Law of the Federal University of Uberlandia (Brazil). He received his Ph.D in Law (Approved with Distinction by Unanimity) from the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra (Portugal), and his LL.M and LL.B from the Federal University of Uberlandia (Brazil). His teaching and research interests include Law and Religion, Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue, Constitutional Law, Human Rights, Business and Human Rights, and Law and Technology. He leads the Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion, which focuses on religious freedom, protection of religious minorities, anti-discrimination norms and church-state relations. Rodrigo has published academic works and has been invited to speak or presented papers at events in Brazil (including the National Congress of Brazil, the Human Rights Ministry and several Universities) and international events (including the Universities of Beijing, Oslo, Cardiff, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Bielefeld, PUC Uruguay e Paraguay, BYU and Virginia; Fundazione Marcianum in Venice; Senate of Uruguay; United Nations - OHCHR; Organization of American States). He also leads the Human Rights Lab, which was awarded the national prize offered by the Association of Judges of the State of Rio de Janeiro, for the best human rights project in 2020 (1º lugar no Prêmio AMAERJ Patrícia Acioli de Direitos Humanos). At the United Nations Office in Geneva (OHCHR), he served as discussant of the draft recommendations and guest speaker at the Sixth Session of the Forum on Minority Issues on "Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities", resulting in the "Recommendations of the Forum on Minority Issues at its sixth session: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities". At the OAS, he presented before the Committee of Juridical and Political Affairs of the OAS Permanent Council in Washington DC, on the Omnibus resolution chapter about the establishment of an interamerican dialogue on freedom of religion or belief (Feb. 2020). Prof. Alves is a Researcher at the Ratio Legis - Center for Legal Research and Development of the Autonomous University of Lisbon on the topic religious freedom, social tension and security. He was an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (2014-2015). Rodrigo sits at the International Academic Advisory Board of the Advanced Program on Religion and the Rule of Law at Oxford, he is a member of the Editorial Board of the Series "Law and Religion in a Global Context" published by Springer and the editor of the book "Latin American Perspectives on Law and Religion", he is a guest academic at the Sacred and Secular Project (Open University), and also the Brazilian National Reporter for the Constitute Project (Comparative Constitutions Project). He is one of the original signatories of the Declaration on Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere (December 2018). Prof. Alves was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the International Development of Law Organization (IDLO) study on freedom of religion or belief. He is a member of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), Latin American Consortium of Religious Freedom (CLLR) and Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN). He is licensed to practice law in Brazil.
Recent outreach projects
"Freedom of Religion or Belief: Collective Exercise and Organizational Autonomy" (Finantial aid from the National Secretariat for Global Protection, 2021-2022)
"Human Rights: Knowing, Respecting and Promoting" (Finantial aid from the National Secretariat for Global Protection, 2021-2022)
"Education and Training on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Brazil" (In partnership with the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, 2020-2021)
"Promotion of freedom of religion or belief" (Finantial aid from the National Secretariat for Global Protection, 2019-2021)
"Respect for freedom of religion and belief" (Finantial aid from the Labour Justice, 2020-2021)
"Human Rights Promotion and Education Program" (Finantial aid from the Labour Justice, 2019-2022)
"Freedom, equality and non-discrimination: from human rights theory to practice" (Finantial aid from the Labour Public Attorney's Office, 2018-2019)
“Religion and Human Rights: Promoting the Respect for Religious Diversity” (Finantial aid from the Ministry of Education of Brazil, 2015-2016).
Recent research project results and publications
Book: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza (ed.). Latin American Perspectives on Law and Religion. 1. ed. Heidelberg & Londres: Springer, 2020.
Book Chapter: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza; GUIMARÃES, Andrea Letícia Carvalho; RESENDE, José Renato Venâncio Prata; CARMO, Gabriellen da Silva Xavier. La libertad de religión o de creencias y la pandemia del COVID-19. Análisis de las medidas restrictivas adoptadas en Brasil. In: MARTINEZ-TORRÓN, Javier; LARA, Belén Rodrigo (Org.). Covid 19 y libertad religiosa. Madri: REDESOC & IUSTEL, 2021, p. 353-376.
Book Chapter: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza. Law and religion in the encounter of cultures: The normative conflicts between freedom of religion or belief and the rights of indigenous peoples. In: Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves. (Org.). Latin American Perspectives on Law and Religion. 1ed.Heidelberg & Londres: Springer, 2020, v. 1, p. 10-33.
Book Chapter: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza. The Protection of the Existence and Identity of Religious Minorities Under the United Nations Legal Framework: Between the Group-Centered and Person-Centered Approaches. In: EHLERS, Dirk; GLASER, Henning. Political and Religious Communities – Partners, Competitors, or Aliens?. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2020, p. 563-591.
Article: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza; ALVES PINTO, T. F. Investigations on the Use of Limitations to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Brazil. Religion and Human Rights, v. 15, p. 77-95, 2020.
Article: ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza; GUIMARAES, Andréa Letícia Carvalho; RESENDE, José Renato Faria Venâncio Prata; CARMO, Gabriellen da Silva Xavier do. Freedom of religion or belief and the Covid-19 pandemic: an analysis of the adoption of restrictive measures in Brazil. Revista general de derecho canónico y derecho eclesiástico del estado, v. 54, p. 1-24, 2020.
Article: RESENDE, José Renato Venâncio; ALVES, Rodrigo Vitorino Souza. A legitimidade da recusa da transfusão de sangue por motivos religiosos à luz do direito à saúde nos 30 anos da Constituição. Revista Direitos Humanos e Democracia, v. 8, p. 78-95, 2020.
Av. João Naves de Ávila 2121, Bloco 3D, Sala 301
Campus Santa Mônica
Uberlândia - MG, Brasil