Professor Iain Benson

Professor of Law
PhD (Witwatersrand.), JD (Windsor), MA (Cambridge), BA (Hons.) (Queen’s)

Email: Iain.Benson@nd.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 8204 4305

  • Biography

    Professor Benson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, is an academic, lecturer and practicing lawyer in constitutional law and human rights with particular focus on freedoms of association, conscience and religion, the nature of pluralism, multi-culturalism and relationships between law, religion and human rights.

    His PhD thesis (Wits, 2013) was entitled: “An Associational Framework for the Reconciliation of Competing Rights Claims Involving the Freedom of Religion.” He has been involved in many of the leading cases on rights of association, conscience and religion in Canada and abroad for two decades and acted for a wide variety of individuals and groups as legal counsel before all levels of court. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Constitutional Court of South Africa have cited his work. His scholarly work is referred to in many books and articles and he is listed in Canada's Who’s Who.

    He was one of the drafters of the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms (signed by all major religions in that country in September 2010) and remains closely involved in advancing the Charter in that country and similar projects elsewhere.

    He works in English and French and divides his time between France, Canada and South Africa and now Australia. He is also a published poet.

  • Teaching areas

    • Contemporary legal issues
    • Public international law
    • Philosophy of law
    • Law and religion
    • Constitutional law
    • Human rights
    • Legal history
    • Law and literature
  • Research expertise and supervision

    The Nature and Scope of Law in relation to the Freedoms of Association; 
    The Nature of Pluralism and Diversity and Principles of Accommodation and the Political, Philosophical and Theological Underpinnings of Various approaches to Law and Culture.
    Virtue Ethics and Problems of "Values" Language

    Available to supervise at the Doctoral, Masters and Honours Levels
    Has acted as an external examiner for Doctoral and Masters Levels Degrees.

  • Books

    • Living Together with Disagreement: Pluralism, the Secular and the Fair Treatment of Beliefs in Law Today, (Ballan, Australia: Connor Court Publishing, 2012)
    • Iain T. Benson and Barry G. Bussey, (eds). “Religion Liberty and the Limits of Law”, (Brill Publishing, Belgium forthcoming, 2017)
  • Book chapters

    • Iain T. Benson “Pluralism, lifeworlds, civic virtues and civil charters” Chapter 17 in Pieter Coertzen, M. Christian Green (eds), Religious Pluralism in Africa, African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa 2016 (forthcoming 2016);
    • Iain T. Benson “The Search for Pluralism in Islam, Catholicism and Judaism”, Chapter 2 in Cole Durham Jr. and Donlu Thayer (eds), (London: Routledge, 2016) (forthcoming, 2016).
    • “Considering Secularism” in Douglas Farrow ed., Recognizing Religion in a Secular Society (Montreal: McGill/Queens Press, 2004) at pp. 83 - 98
    • Editor of Volume VII of The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004); critical introduction (20 pages) and almost 400 annotations to Chesterton’s three novels The Ball and the Cross, Manalive and The Flying Inn.
    • Entries on “G.K.Chesterton”, “Roman Catholicism” and “Truth” in J. Schultz, J. West eds. The C. S. Lewis Reader's Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998)
    • “Can there be a Legitimate Pluralism in Modes of Protecting Religions and Their Freedom?: The Cases of Canada and South Africa” in Glendon, Mary Ann and Zacher, Hans F. (eds), Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom, Proceedings of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Acta 17 (Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2012) 253-288
    • “Should Religious Beliefs Be Excluded From Considerations of Public Policy?” No. Iain Benson 311- 320; Yes: Justice Mary Saunders, 305- 310 in Charlton, Mark and Barker, Paul (eds), Crosscurrents: Contemporary Political Issues (Toronto: Nelson Education, 2012 7th ed) 305 – 320
    • “Can there be a Legitimate Pluralism in Modes of Protecting Religions and Their Freedom?: The Cases of Canada and South Africa” in Glendon, Mary Ann and Zacher, Hans F. (eds), Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom, Proceedings of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Acta 17 (Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2012) 253-288
    • “Fairness and the Freedom of Religion: Diversity and Pluralism in the Public Square” in Shaheen Azmi, Lorne Foster and Les Jacobs (eds) Balancing Competing Human Rights Claims in a Diverse Society: Institutions, Policy, Principles (Toronto: Irwin Law Books, 2012) Chapter 13, 385-420.
  • Journal articles and proceedings

    Iain has been contributing to the global legal knowledge base since the1990s. He has written extensively on constitutional law and human rights, freedoms of association, conscience and religion, the nature of pluralism, multiculturalism and relationships between law, religion and human rights. Iain has acted as external reader of manuscripts for the following presses and journals: McGill – Queen’s University Press (Montreal); University of Toronto Press; Catholic University of America Press (Washington DC), Spence Publishing (Dallas, Texas), The Journal of Religion, State and Society (Routledge, U.K.), Journal of Juridical Science (South Africa), South African Journal of Human Rights, Acta Theologica (South Africa), University of Ottawa Law Review, Queen’s Law Journal, Istanbul Journal of Sociology.

    Since March 2015 Iain has also been a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of Directions, Journal of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation/ Fondation canadienne des relations raciales, Toronto, Canada.

    His published papers over the last sixteen years include:

    • “Notes Towards a (Re)Definition of the `Secular’” (2000) 33 U.B.C. Law Review, 519 – 549, Special Issue on “Religion, Morality and Law”.
    • “The Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities”, Emory International Law Review, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring 2007) at pp. 111 - 165. Being the invited Canadian contribution to an International Symposium commemorating 25 Years of the U.N. “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance.”
    • “Do “Values” Mean Anything at All?” Paper for the Education at the Crossroads Conference, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, May 11, 2002 (revised and expanded version published as “Do “values” mean anything at all? Implications for law, education and society”) 2008 Journal for Juridical Science 33(1): 117-136 ).
    • “The Case for Religious Inclusivism and the Judicial Recognition of Associational Rights: A Response to Lenta”,Vol. 1 (2008) Constitutional Court Review 297.
    • “Living Together With Disagreement: Pluralism, The Secular and the Fair Treatment of Beliefs in Canada Today” Monograph with a Response by Alex Fielding, The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, Camrose, Alberta, May 2010.
    • “Re-understanding the Public Sphere and the Fair Treatment of Beliefs in Canada”/ “Le Tratement Équitable Des Croyances Religieuses Au Canada.” Canadian Diversity/ Diversité Canadienne, Volume 8:3 Summer 2010. pp 17 – 19; 19-21 (Special Issue dedicated to “Balancing Competing Human Rights” released December 2010)(in French)
    • “Taking Pluralism and Liberalism Seriously: The Need to Re-Understand “Faith”, “Beliefs”, “Religion” and “Diversity”, in the Public Sphere”, Journal for the Study of Religion, Special Issue: Public Faith and the Politics of Faith, Volume 23, Numbers 1 & 2, 2010 at 17-41. (University of Cape Town, ISSN 1011-7601)
    • “Taking Pluralism and Liberalism Seriously: The Need to Re-Understand “Faith”, “Beliefs”, “Religion” and “Diversity”, in the Public Sphere”, Journal for the Study of Religion, Special Issue: Public Faith and the Politics of Faith, Volume 23, Numbers 1 & 2, 2010 at 17-41. (University of Cape Town, ISSN 1011-7601)
    • “The experience of protecting legitimate pluralism in relation to religions: Canada and South Africa”, The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, XVII Plenary Session, Universal Rights in a World of Diversity. The Case of Religious Freedom”, 29 April – 3 May 2011 (invited rapporteur on Law and Religion in South Africa and Canada) (Published by the Pontifical Academy, Proceedings, January 2012).
    • “South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms. Constitutional framework, formation and challenges”, International Journal of Religious Freedom, Vol. 4, 1(2011), 125-134.
    • “Unexamined Faiths and the Public Place of Religion: Emerging Insights From the Law”, Acta Theologica, 2011 Suppl 14: 1- 19, ISSN 1015-8758 © UV/UFS
    • “That False Struggle between Believers and Non-Believers”; “Le faux combat entre croyants et non-croyants”; “Quella falsa lotta tra credenti e non credenti” Invited Article in the English, French, Italian, English-Urdu and English-Arabic editions of Oasis, (Venice, Marcianum Press, 2011) Year 6 No. 12, December 2010 at 22-25.
    • “South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms: Constitutional Framework, Formation and Challenges” (2011) International Journal for Religious Freedom, Vol. 4 No. 1, 125 – 134
    • “Two Errors in Relation to Respecting Religious Rights: Driving a Wedge Between Religion and Ethics/Morals and Treating All Kinds of Religious Employers the Same” Canadian Diversity/ Diversité Canadienne, (2012). Volume 9:3 Summer pp 20 – 24
    • “Religious interfaith work in Canada and South Africa with particular focus on the drafting of a South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms”, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 69(1), Art. #1319, 13 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1319
    • “Seeing Through the Secular Illusion” (July 29, 2013). Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif (NGTT) Deel 54 Supplementum 4, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2304313
    • “Law Deans, Legal Coercion and The Freedoms of Association and Religion in Canada” The Advocate, September 2013, Vol. 71, Part 5, 671-675; Magazine of the Vancouver Bar Association, British Columbia, Canada “The Attack on Western Religions by Western Law: Re-framing Pluralism, Liberalism and Diversity.” International Journal for Religious Freedom (2014).
    • “What Divides, What Joins and Who Decides?: Diversity, The Common Good and Limited Law”, Journal for Juridical Science, Vol. 39 Issue 1 (2014).
    • “The Search for Pluralism in Islam and Roman Catholicism as Seen in the Writings of Said Nursi and John Courtney Murray”, forthcoming Chapter in a Volume on Diversity, Law and Religion, Cole Durham Jr. and Donlu Thayer (eds) Ashgate Publishing, England (2016).
    • “The View from Nowhere and the “Neutral State”: Mandatory State Courses on Ethics and Religion and the Duty of Accommodation; A Review of Recent Decisions from the Canadian Supreme Court”, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Volume of Proceedings (Submitted for Review in forthcoming volume) 2016
    • “Inside/Out and Outside/In: Civil Society, Civic Totalism and the Right to Discriminate Within Religious Associations: A Response to Some Recent Scholarship in South Africa” (Submitted and under peer review, Journal for Juridical Studies) Forthcoming 2016.
  • Conference papers

    As an Academic of International renown Iain is in demand as a lecturer and guest presenter in many jurisdictions. Some of his recent lectures include:

    • Invited Opening Paper; "Pluralism Is Not Inclusion: Maintaining Diversity Against Homogenizing Temptations" for a Conference "The Politics of Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific", University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia, September 14, 2016.
    • Invited Response to Author: "The Language of "Values" and the Language of Morality: A Critique of "Giving Voice to Values" , Academic Symposium on the Philosophical Foundations of Mary Gentile's, "Giving Voice to Values", Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia , 19 September, 2016.
    • Invited Presenter for Academic Research Symposium, "Reflections on the Canadian Experience with Same-sex Marriage", Research Symposium, Freedom for Faith Conference, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia, September 21, 2016.
    • Invited Conference Paper, "Undazzling Equality", Freedom for Faith Conference, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia, September 22, 2016.
    • After Dinner Speaker, "The Problem of Values Language in the Philosophy of George Grant", Edgecliff Dining Group , Sydney, Australia, October 7, 2016.
    • Invited Speaker, 'In Quest of Inklings: Some Notes (and a Few Trophies) From A Bookman's Hunting Log Collecting and Writing about Chesterton and Lewis' for the Australian G.K. Chesterton Society Conference, "A World of Wonders: G.K. Chesterton and the Literary Imagination", Campion College, Sydney, Australia, October 29, 2016. (available on You Tube: https://youtu.be/VZrhRiW59_k)
    • Invited Paper, "The language of "values" and the abstraction of law; colonizing real associations", Small Circle Academic Group Meeting, University of Basel, Basel Switzerland, 26 – 29th November, 2016 .
    • Invited Paper, "Associations and Human Rights" to the Conference of the National Citizens Coalition, Melbourne, Australia, November 28, 2017 (forthcoming);
    • Invited Annual Lecture: "Civic Virtues and Civic Friendship: Where have all the Public Square Virtues Gone?", Annual Acton Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, Australia, April 26, 2017 (forthcoming)
    • Paper Presenter: "The Many Faces of Multi-culturalism, Pluralism and Diversity" for a Conference, "Multi-culturalism and Religion", University of Otago, New Zealand, Queenstown, New Zealand. February 3, 2016
    • Paper Presenter: "Three Rival Versions of Diversity and Some Comments on Multi-culturalism and Pluralism", for a Conference, "Multi-culturalism and Religion", University of Otago, New Zealand, Queenstown, New Zealand. February 3, 2016.
    • Invited Presentation: "The Four Levels of Happiness" to the Commercial Law Association, Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2016.
    • Legislative Brief: "Understanding Human Rights in Context" A Submission to the Human Rights Inquiry of the Queensland Government, Australia, April 17, 2016
    • Paper Presentation: "Recent Developments in Law and Religion", Christian Lawyers and Doctors Group, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. May 17, 2016.
    • Conference Presentation, "Finding the Human in the Thickets of the Law", World Humanism Day, New South Wales Humanist Association, Sydney, Australia, June 19, 2016.
    • Annual Campion Lecture: "Law and Religious Liberty Today: Some Reflections on Choices Ahead for Australia" Campion College, Sydney, Australia, June 23, 2016.
    • Conference Paper, "Some Reflections on Law, Religious Freedom and Secularism", Freedom 16, The Freedom for Faith Conference, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney Australia, August 12, 2016.
    • Keynote Conference Address: "Justice in the Pine Forest: The Irony of Religious Freedom and the Varieties of Diversity", Annual Religious Liberty Lecture, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia, August 18, 2016.
    • Invited Conference Wrap-up Commentary "The Varieties of Diversity: Religious Liberty Conference", University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2016.
    • Invited Address; "Full Drift Ahead: Some Reflections on Citizenship and Civic Virtues", Open Forum, New South Wales Humanist Society, Sydney, Australia, August 24, 2016.
    • After Dinner Address, (Wednesday Formal Dinner), "The Bankruptcy of "Values" Language", Warrane College, University of New South Wales, September 7, 2016
    • “The Many Faces of Multi-culturalism, Pluralism and Diversity” for a Conference, “Multi-culturalism and Religion”, University of Otago, New Zealand, Queenstown, New Zealand. February 3, 2016
    • September, 2015, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium “Refugees and Civic Virtues”;
    • “Religious Education and Diversity: The Role and Limits of “Civic Virtues”, Conference Proceedings, Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations, Third Annual African Consortium of Law and Religious Scholars (ACLARS) Namibia, May 2015, (Submitted for forthcoming volume of Conference Proceedings)
    • November 2014, Pretoria, South Africa, to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Council for the Promotion of the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms, “Religious Education and the Constitution”;
    • June 2014 and June 2015, Summer Institute, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Oxford University, “Secularism: Its Meanings and Obfuscations” and “The Secular and Civic Virtues”;
    • May 2014, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; “Conceptions of the Secular”; Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, University of Stellenbosch South Africa, “Some Contours of Pluralism and the Common Good”;
    • September 2013, “Civil Charters” at the House of Lords, UK;
    • August 2013, Virginia USA to the International Consortium of Law and Religion Scholars;
    • September 2012, the Canadian High Commission in Mozambique, “Civil Society and Government”.
    • In 2012 he was invited to be a “special expert” to the group advising the Ontario Human Rights Commission on its reworking of its policy on “creed”.
    • Presented Plenary Paper to the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences, Vatican City, May 2011
    • “Religion and Multiculturalism in Canada: The Need for a Paradigm Shift” to a Session “Cosmopolitanism and Religiosity” in Conference “Towards a Democratic Cosmopolis: Diaspora, Citizenship and Recognition”, Main Paper, Founder’s College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 22, 2009.
    • “Religion and the Public Sphere: The Need for Accommodation and Some Meanings of Diversity” Invited Keynote Address to a Conference “In The Presence of Faith: An Inter-disciplinary Symposium on South African Studies of Religion, Centre for Culture and Languages in Africa (CCLA), University of Johannesburg, and Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER),University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa,
    • February 24- 26, 2010. (Revised Version published as: “Religion and the Public Sphere: Some Meanings of “Faith, “Belief” and “Diversity” and The Need to Accommodate Differing Beliefs in the Public Sphere”)
    • “Unexamined Faiths and the Public Place of Religion – Emerging Challenges for the Law” at Faith, Religion and the Public University, Conference, The University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, March 23-24, 2010 (See publication in Acta Theologica, 2011, above).
    • Invited Reply: “Concerns about Convergence in Ethics” Invited Reply to Professor Alberto Garcia, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Rome; Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, September 29, 2010.
    • Invited Presenter, Delegate and Wrap-up Panel Presenter, “Secular and Secularism: Presuppositions that Determine” and Wrap-up Panel “Some Thoughts on Co-operation and Friendship” 17th Annual Symposium on Law and Religion, The International Centre for Law and Religion, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, October 2-6th, 2010.
    • Inaugural Address: “Living Together with Disagreement and the Limits of the Law”, Faculty of Law, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, October 14, 2010.
    • Invited Paper: “Remarks on the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms: An International Perspective” at the public signing ceremony of the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, October 21, 2010 [introduced letter of support from the Hon. Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Canadian Senate]..
    • “Sophocles’ Antigone and the Limits of Law and Religion” paper to the St. Thomas More Lawyer’s Guild, Lang Michener LLP, Toronto, Ontario November 18, 2010.
    • Invited Opening Keynote: Secularism and Secularisation: The Need for a Paradigm Shift, presented at “Faith in the Face of Secularism”, International Conference, St. Augustine’s College, Johannesburg, South Africa, 28 – 31 August 2011.
    • Invited Lecture: “Civic Totalism and the Freedom of Religion and Association” to Joint Conference of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law and The University of the Free State, Faculty of Law, Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg, September 14-15, 2011.
    • Invited Lecture: “Religious Inclusion and the Construction of the “Public” for Legal Workshop on the Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy on Creed, Ontario Human Rights Commission in Partnership with the York University Centre for Public Policy and Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 19, 2012.
    • Invited by the Canadian Centre for Jewish and Israel Affairs to debate Multi-culturalism with Salim Mansur (author of: Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism, 2011), Toronto June 6, 2012.
    • “A Cookbook of Ways to Dissolve the Freedom of Association in Relation to Religion” to a conference on “Religion and Secularism” Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 7, 2012.
    • Invited by IESE (Instituto De Estudos Sociase e Economicos) [the Institute for the Study of Economics and Society] to attend as “expert advisor” its International Conference “Moçambique: Acumulação e Transformaçeão em Contexto de Crise Intenacional” conference on Accumulation and Transformation, Maputo, Mozambique, September 4 – 6th, 2012.
    • Invited Presentation on “Civil Society and Government” to the High Commissioner and Staff of the Canadian High Commission, Maputo, Mozambique, September 5, 2012.
    • Addressed the Plenary Session of the Conference of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Reflections on the Freedoms of Conscience and Religion” Sainte-Adéle, Quebec, September 27, 2012.
    • “Re-understanding The Freedom of Association and Religion in Relation to Contemporary Challenges Based Upon Equality and Non-Discrimination” to International Consultation on Religious Freedom Research, Istanbul, Turkey, March 16-18, 2013.
    • Invited Presentation on PhD. Research on Freedom of Association to Faculty Members of Religious Studies and Law, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, April 23, 2013.
    • Invited Panelist, “The Search for Pluralism in the Writings of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi and the Roman Catholic Tradition” presented at Nübüvvet, 10th International Bediüzzaman Symposium, Istanbul, Turkey 23 – 25th September, 2013.
    • Invited Panelist [by internet link from France], “International Perspectives on Freedom in Education” for Conference on Religious Freedom in Education, McGill University, October 4, 2013.
    • Keynote Address: “Some Contours of Pluralism and The Common Good” to International Conference “Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies”, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, May 26 – 29, 2014.
    • Invited Paper: “Challenges to Diversity and Associations: The Need for Pluralism”, Archdiocese of Toronto Conference, Munk School of Global Affairs, Trinity College, University of Toronto, August 7 – 8, 2014.
    • Invited Presentation, “The Recent Controversy Involving Trinity Western University and the Establishment of a Christian Law School in Canada”, Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, Camrose, Alberta, November 10, 2014.
    • Invited Inaugural Lecture, Series on Religion and Society, “Pluralism and Religion”, Canadian Union University College, Lacombe Alberta, November 11, 2014.
    • Invited Panelist and Presenter, “Some Comments on the Freedom of Religion in Canada Today” and “How Definitions Matter for Religion and Culture” , Montebello Forward, Conference of Cardus Institute, Chateau Montebello, Quebec, November 13 – 15, 2014.
    • Invited Debater: “God’s Politics: The Role of Religion in Public Life” The Chesterton Debates, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2015 available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhfUp-jlaI
    • Conference Co-Chair and Presenter: “Should There Be A Legal Presumption in Favour of Diversity?: Some Preliminary Reflections” For a Conference sponsored by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Religion as a Public and Social Good Trinity College and Massey College, University of Toronto, May 11-13, 2015
    • The View from Nowhere and the “Neutral State”: Mandatory State Courses on Ethics and Religion and the Duty of Accommodation, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Institute on the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, June 22 – 25, 2015.
    • “Illich’s De-schooling Society and the Law: Some Reflections”, “Small Circle”, Frankfurt, Germany, September 27 – 28, 2015.
    • Invited Paper and Debate Participant: Conference on “Religion and Diversity”, European Evangelical Alliance, Brussels, Belgium Sept 30 – October 1, 2015.
    • Invited Conference Co-Chair: “The Duty to Engage: Conference to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Nostre Aetate”, University of Toronto, October 8 – 9, 2015.
  • In the media

    • The problem with 'Australian values', "Late Night Live" with Phillip Adams, ABC Radio National, April 26, 2017
    • Section 18C gets a makeover, "God Forbid" with James Carleton, ABC Radio National, March 26, 2017
    • The culture war of marriage equality in Australia, "Religion and Ethics Report" with Andrew West, ABC Radio National, March 2,2 2017
    • Invited Participant, Planning Session for Constitutional Court Review, Issue #6, December 4 – 5, 2014, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
    • "Freedom of Religion and Public Education", Interview by Cherisse Zeifert, on Chai FM, Johannesburg, South Africa (Radio Station of the Jewish Board of Deputies, South Africa), January 16, 2015.
    • "The Debate Between Humanism and Religion." Interview by Cherisse Zeifert, Chai FM, Johannesburg, South Africa (Radio Station of the Jewish Board of Deputies, South Africa), February 6, 2015.
    • Invited Debater: "God's Politics: The Role of Religion in Public Life" The Chesterton Debates, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2015 available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhfUp-jlaI
    • Iain T. Benson "Australia, beware! Same-sex Marriage is a "Pandora's box", Catholic Weekly, Sydney, Australia, Part 1, June 12, 2016 p. 20.
    • Iain T. Benson, "Language Vagueness Provides the Camouflage for Duplicity", Catholic Weekly, Sydney, Australia, Part 2, June 19, 2016.
    • Radio Interview; Iain T. Benson "The Good Society", Interview by John Cleary, Australian Public Broadcasting, December 18, 2016 (on podcast).
    • Radio Interview: Iain T. Benson, "Civic Virtues and Pluralism"; Gareth Cliff Central internet radio, Johannesburg, South Africa,. Renegade Radio, Interview by Roman Cabanac and Dr. Witt. January 16, 2017 (podcast available online).
    • Presenter, Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, Public Hearings, "The Importance of Religious Broadcasting to Canadian Culture." Vancouver, March 16, 1999.
    • Dinner Speech, "Putting the Soul Back into Politics" Palliser Hotel, Calgary, Alberta, April 15, 1999 (speech published by the Calgary Herald, Saturday May 1, 1999 p. K6).
    • "Can there Be Rights without Duties?: Why the Courts are Making Decisions in a Moral Vacuum" CBC Radio "Commentary", January 21, 2000.
    • "The Nature of "Tolerance" in Canadian Society" Interviewed by Michael Coren on Vision TV, "Michael Coren Live", Toronto, Ontario. February 23, 2000.
    • Interviewed by Karin Konstantynowicz, CBC Radio, "Tapestry" The Leap to Meaning: Faith and the Arts for a program focused upon an Arts Symposium organized by the Centre for Culture Renewal (held on Bowen Island, BC, Canada, June 26th to July 1, 2000) September 12, 2000.
    • Interviewed by Don Hill, CBC Radio, "Tapestry" Faith (Religious and Non-religious) in Canada Today, program taped in Toronto, Ontario, December 18, 2000 (broadcast on National Radio, February 18, 2001 and Summer 2001).
    • Interviewed by Jenny Quan, Fairchild Television (Chinese Television Network) for a nationally broadcast television documentary on "Same Sex Marriage", Vancouver, B.C. September 7, 2001
    • "Challenges to Religious Freedom in the New "Secularism" Interviewed by Logan Craft for Church and State, a syndicated television program from Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 10, 2002.
    • Interviewed by Kristof Vanhoutte, Zelfde rechten voor religieuze burgers in de seculiere staat – Advocaat Iain Benson over de uitdagingen in het multiculturele Canada, published in Tertio: Christelijk opinieweekblad, No. 510, 16-11-2009, p.11 (Belgium).
    • Interviewed by Lydia O'Kane, Vatican Radio on "The Necessarily Public Dimension of Religion" and "The South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms" two interviews, May 12, 2010 (broadcast later, the second in special program
    • Interviewed by Lydia O'Kane, Vatican Radio on "The Significance of State-funding in Relation to the Recent European Decision Banning Crucifixes from Public School Classrooms" July 1, 2010 (broadcast and posted on website).
    • Invited Panelist, T.V. Ontario, Steve Paikin Show, "The Funding of Religious Education", Toronto, Ontario June 6, 2012.
    • "Freedom of Religion and Public Education", Interview by Cherisse Zeifert, on Chai FM, Johannesburg, South Africa (Radio Station of the Jewish Board of Deputies, South Africa), January 16, 2015.
    • "The Debate Between Humanism and Religion." Interview by Cherisse Zeifert, Chai FM, Johannesburg, South Africa (Radio Station of the Jewish Board of Deputies, South Africa), February 6, 2015.
    • Invited Debater: "God's Politics: The Role of Religion in Public Life" The Chesterton Debates, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2015 available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhfUp-jlaI
  • Professional affiliations

    • Knight of Magisterial Grace, The Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, since 2001
    • Research Associate, South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Human Rights, Public and
    • International Law (SAIFAC), Johannesburg, South Africa, March
    • Senior Research Fellow, The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta, Camrose, Alberta
    • Expert Advisor, the Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms, South Africa, October
    • Member, International Association for Constitutional Law
    • Visiting Professor,Faculty of Law Universityof Western Ontario.January 2014.Comparitive Constitutiuonal Law:examining specific themes;socio-economic rights,euthanasia,free exercise and establishment of religion,offensive speech,human rights, and the context of rights in the UK,USA,Canada,South Africa,NZ,Australia and Europe.
    • Canadian Who's Who
    • Member, International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (Milan), elected unanimously, Virginia, USA.
    • Senior Resident/Visiting Scholar,Massey College,University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 2014-2015
    • Senior Associate Fellow, International Institute for Hermeneutics, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiberg, Germany,
    • Invited Academic Advisor to the “Sacred and Secular Project” of the Open University (UK)
    • Member of the Advisory Council, Institute of Medical Ethics and Bioethics, Bratislava, Slovak Republic since January 1995
    • Extraordinary Professor, Department of Constitutional Law and the Department of Philosophy of Law, University of the Free State, South Africa.
    • Senior Associate Counsel Miller Thompson LLP 2009-2013
    • Law Society of Upper Canada
    • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Other

    Iain was invited to be part of a group of theologians and academic lawyers drafting a Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms for South Africa. The Charter was signed by every major religion in South Africa, in Johannesburg on October 21, 2010. In March 2015 Iain was invited by the Marriage and Family Law Project (Brigham Young University, USA) to sign, as a recognized international law expert, an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell dealing with same-sex marriage. The argument in the brief focused on legislatures rather than courts being the internationally preferred method for development in this area. The brief was signed by some 22 leading scholars worldwide.