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School of Law

Dr John Adenitire


Senior Lecturer in Law

Room Number: Mile End


Dr John Adenitire is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and a Fellow of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to joining Queen Mary, he was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law and Fitzwilliam College. He has taught and researched at Cambridge, Durham, Birmingham, the UCL Constitution Unit, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the UK Commission on a Bill of Rights.

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His research has focused on the legal right to exemption for religious and non-religious conscientious objectors from a wide variety of legal obligations, including anti-discrimination norms. He is currently working on a book project on non-human animals in constitutional law and theory. More general research interests lie in the fields of public law, legal theory, comparative public law, and law and religion.



  • ‘A General Right to Conscientious Exemption: Beyond Religious Privilege’ (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
    • Book symposium (2022) in the Keele Law Review – Contributions from Professor Kent Greenawalt, Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson, Professor Richard Moon, Professor Yossi Nehushtan, and Dr Stella Coyle.
    • Reviewed by Mr Guy Baldwin in the Cambridge Law Journal [2022] 81(2), 430-433.
    • Reviewed by Dr Lucy M Davis in the Medical Law Review by [2021] 29(3), 587–592.
    • Reviewed by Professor Yossi Nehushtan in the Modern Law Review [2022] 85(4) 1097-1102.
    • Forthcoming book review in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion by Professor Eugenio Velasco Ibarra.
  • ‘Animals and the Constitution: Towards Sentience-Based Constitutionalism’ (with Dr Raffael Fasel). Under contract with Oxford University Press.

Edited Volumes

  • ‘From Toleration to Religious Freedom: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives’ (co-edited with Marietta Van Der Tol, Carys Brown and Emily Kempson) (Peter Lang Publishing, June 2021).
    • Reviewed by Prof Benjamin Kaplan in [2022] Journal of Church and State 329–331
  • ‘Religious Beliefs and Conscientious Exemptions in a Liberal State’ (sole editor) (Hart Publishing, June 2019).
    • Reviewed by Dr Stephen Smith in [2020] Medical Law Review 625

Special Journal Issue

  • ‘Conflicts between Religious Freedom and Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination: Should “Mere Civility” Suffice?’ (sole guest editor) [2020] (2) Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.

Journal Articles (peer reviewed)

  • ‘A Liberal Defence of No-Platforming’ [2023] International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming).
  • ‘Religion as Liberal Politics’ [2023] Journal of Law and Religion (forthcoming).
  • ‘Religion, Diversity, and Conscientious Exemptions: Reply to Contributors’ [2022] Keele Law Review 68-83.
  • ‘The Rule of Law for All Sentient Animals’ [2022] (1) Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence 1-30.
    • Identified by Maneesha Deckha as one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to equality law in Maneesha Deckha, Excluding Animals: A Rule of Law Violation, JOTWELL (June 1, 2023).
  • ‘Protecting Solitary Beliefs against Indirect Discrimination’ [2020] Industrial Law Journal 196–225.
  • Editorial of ‘Conflicts between Religious Freedom and Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination: Should “Mere Civility” Suffice?’ [2020] Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 229–237.
  • ‘Conscientious Exemptions: From Toleration to Neutrality; From Neutrality to Respect' [2017] Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 6(2), 268-292.
  • ‘A Conscience-Based Human Right to be “Doctor Death”’ [2016] Public Law 613, 613-630.
  • ‘The BMA’s Guidance on Conscientious Objection May be Contrary to Human Rights Law’ [2017] Journal of Medical Ethics 43(4), 260-263 (special JME issue ‘Conscientious Objections’).
  • ‘SAS v France: Fidelity to Law and Conscience’ [2015] (1) European Human Rights Law Review, 78-86.

Journal Articles under review

  • ‘The Liberal Model of Conscientious Exemptions: A Restatement’ (under review by several American Law Reviews).

Book Chapters

  • ‘Is Liberal Neutrality Possible?’ (forthcoming chapter in Laborde, Tebbe, Schwartzman (eds.), Discrimination by/against Religion (OUP forthcoming)).
  • ‘The Ministerial Exception without Religion’ (forthcoming chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Discrimination).
  • ‘Introduction’ in ‘From Toleration to Religious Freedom: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives’ (co-editor) (Peter Lang Publishing, June 2021).
  • ‘Introduction’ in J. Adenitire (ed.), Religious Beliefs and Conscientious Exemptions in a Liberal State (Hart Publishing, June 2019).
  • ‘Who Should Give Effect to Conscientious Exemptions? The Case for Institutional Synergy’ in J. Adenitire (ed.), Religious Beliefs and Conscientious Exemptions in a Liberal State (Hart Publishing, June 2019).
  • ‘Conscientious Exemptions in a Liberal State’ in J. Adenitire (ed.), Religious Beliefs and Conscientious Exemptions in a Liberal State (Hart Publishing, June 2019).

Case Comments

  • 'Ideological Neutrality in the Workplace' [2018] Modern Law Review 81(2), 337–360 (co-authored with Zoe Adams).
  • ‘Has the ECHR Recognised a Legal Right to Glance at a Smile?’ [2015] Law Quarterly Review 131 (Jan), 43-48.

Review Essays

  • Review essay of A. Cochrane, Sentientist Politics (OUP 2018) [2019] Jurisprudence 10(3), 588-596.
  • 'The Irrelevance of Religion' [2017] Jurisprudence 8(2), 405-414.
  • ‘Between Institutional and Moral Discourse: On Alexy’s Legal Philosophy’ [2013] Jurisprudence 4(2), 358-364.

Book Reviews and Reports

  • Book review of H. Bhuiyan and D. Jensen (eds.), Law and Religion in the Liberal State (Hart 2020) [2022] Public Law (forthcoming).
  • Book review of T. Poole, Reason of State (CUP 2015) [2016] Cambridge Law Journal 75(3), 620-623.
  • (Contributed to legal analysis of Commonwealth jurisdictions) J. van Zyl Smit ‘The Appointment, Tenure and Removal of Judges under Commonwealth Principles: A Compendium and Analysis of Best Practice’ (Report of Research Undertaken by Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law) (July 2015) (Cited by the Indian Supreme Court in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Ass’n v. Union of India (2016) 4 SCC 1, at n 531).
  • Book review of R. Masterman and I. Leigh (eds.), The United Kingdom’s Statutory Bill of Rights (UOP/British Academy 2013) [2014] Public Law 591, 591-595.
  • Book review of K. Möller, The Global Model of Constitutional Rights (OUP 2012) [2014] Human Rights Law Review 14(1), 159-164.
  • (Co-author) ‘Deestoori Ambassadors and Guides Manual’ (Training manual for public engagement in the drafting of a new constitution for Libya) [2012] (Project by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law; used by Lawyers For Justice in Libya; Printed by White & Case LLP).
  • ‘Judicial Independence in Europe: The Swedish, Italian and German Perspectives’ (20,000 words research note) [2012] UCL Constitution Unit, The Politics of Judicial Independence project website (Translated into Bulgarian and available at SŬDEBNO PRAVO).

Legal Blogging (selection)


Conference Papers (selection)

  • ‘Against Religious Freedom’ (University of Virginia, Law and Religion Roundtable, 22-23 June 2023).
  • Response to ‘Animal Rights Law’ (NYU Environmental Studies Programme, 20 April 2023).
  • ‘A Liberal Defence of No-Platforming’ (UCL Public Law Discussion Group, 27 February 2023).
  • Response to ‘Animal Law in Ireland: A Conversation with John Stuart Mill’ (Irish Jurisprudence Society, 23 November 2022).
  • ‘Roger Williams and the Origins of Religious Freedom’ (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Law, 21 June 2022).
  • ‘Wrestling with Religion in Law’ (University of Texas at Austin, 15 June 2022).
  • ‘Balancing Conscience and Sexual Orientation Discrimination’ (Nuffield College, Oxford, 13-14 June 2022).
  • ‘The Ministerial Exception without Religion’ (NUI Galway School of Law, 7 June 2022). 
  • Public Lecture on The Politics of Sex and Gender Equality in Diverse Societies at Oriel College, Oxford (28 April 2022).
  • ‘The Rule of Law for All Sentient Animals’ (European Animal Rights Law Conference 2021, Westminster College, Cambridge, 18 September 2021).
  • ‘Protecting Solitary Beliefs from Indirect Discrimination Law’ (Invited Plenary Lecture at the Industrial Law Society Annual conference, Keble College, Oxford, 10 September 2021).
  • ‘Constitutional Rights for all Animals’ (Invited paper presented at the QMUL Early Career Researchers’ Workshop – 19 February 2021).
  • Panellist at ‘Religion, Populism, and the Crisis of Secularism’ (IHSS Webinar, 10 February 2021).
  • Invited panellist to the Royal Irish Academy conference ‘How Should a Liberal Democracy React to Conscientious Objection Claims?' (11 February 2021).
  • Invited panellist at book symposium on M. Hunter-Henin, Why Religious Freedom Matters For Democracy: Comparative Reflections from Britain and France for a Democratic “Vivre Ensemble” (Hart 2020) (QMUL, 18 December 2020).
  • ‘Religious Freedom and Gay Rights: Not a Zero-Sum Game’ (Invited paper at the Inclusive Midwest Initiative, Chicago – 22 August 2019). 
  • ‘The Culture War between Freedom of Conscience and the Right to Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination: the Futility of Toleration’ (Invited paper at the Morrell Centre Workshop ‘A Tolerant Society?’ 20-21 September 2018).
  • Research seminar on Chapter 1 of R. Dworkin, Religion without God (HUP 2013) (Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy Monthly Seminar, 24 November 2017).
  • ‘The Irrelevance of Religion’ (Research seminar at Yale Law School, 20 September 2016).
  • ‘Nehushtan’s Unsuccessful Attack on the Liberal Model of Conscientious Exemptions’ (Invited panellist member on book symposium, Law and Religion Scholars Network annual conference, Cardiff, 5 May 2016). 
  • ‘Three Institutional Schemes for Dealing with Conscientious Objectors to Celebrating Same-Sex Marriages’ (Cambridge Law Faculty, PhD Seminar Series, 1 December 2015).
  • ‘The Instrumental Principles of the Rule of Law in Contemporary Pluralistic Societies’ (Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Jurisprudence section, Nottingham 2014).
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