Joelle’s work @ United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
In cooperation with Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights, Joelle directed and co-authored a comparative legal research of over 70 blasphemy laws around the world. She developed a set of indicators to measure the level of their respect to international human rights principles, and the risks for abuse that the laws pose. The study required scoring each country based on a point system, using a coding process. The research includes indicators, among which: (a) freedom of opinion and expression (b) freedom of thought, conscience and religion (c) the precision of the law and its purpose (d) the proportionality of the sanctions (e) whether the law is discriminatory between different belief groups and (f) the impact of Church-State relations on the law.
Joelle and Cardozo are currently working on a following up report for USCIRF on how these laws are enforced in practice across the globe.