435. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion in international law.

The first international recognition and protection of freedom of religious thought and practice was attached to the state as opposed to the individual1. In some cases this developed into providing for the protection of religious minorities within states2, but it was not until the mid-twentieth Century, when the focus of international law shifted to the doctrine of human rights, that the individual's choice and freedom of religion and belief was recognised universally pursuant to global human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights4, the International Convention on the