This site is dedicated to reporting and commenting upon issues involving freedom of conscience, religion, or belief throughout the member states of the Council of Europe, with particular focus on the work of the European Court of Human Rights and its predecessor tribunal, the European Commission of Human Rights. We are working to make this site the definitive source of information for scholars and others interested in understanding and having some influence upon the work of the Court in this vital area. Since the decisions on the important issues pending before the Court will shape the basic contours of freedom of religion or belief for years to come, not only throughout Europe, but throughout the world as the Court and its opinions become increasingly influential, the kind of work envisioned by, and carried out by, the Strasbourg Consortium is particularly critical.
We welcome you to our site, and encourage you to investigate its possibilities to determine how it may serve you, and how you might contribute to its success.
PLEASE NOTE: This site is independently operated by the staff of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies on behalf of the academic group called the Strasbourg Consortium. It has no official affiliation with the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights has published new factsheets on cases regarding Gender Equality and Sexual Orientation issues and on cases dealing with Religious Symbols and Clothing and Freedom of Religion. All of the Court's factsheets as well as country-specific profiles can be found on the Court's website by clicking here.
Enver Aydemir v. Turkey [judgment in French only] (no. 26012/11) - Second Section Judgment 7 June 2016. The applicant's objection to military service in a secular republic (he would have served under a system based on and subject to the rules of the Qur'an) did not violate his Article 9 rights to manifest freedom of religion or belief through worship, teaching, practice or observance, and the evidence before the Court did not suggest that the applicant's stated beliefs included a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or to the bearing of arms. He was, however, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 in the investigation of charges brought against him and mistreatment of him during confinement.
Association for Solidarity with Jehovah Witnesses and Others v. Turkey (nos. 36915/10, 8606/13) - Second Section Judgment... more
İzzettin Doğan and Others v. Turkey (no. 62649/10) - Grand Chamber Judgment 26 April 2016. The Turkish state discriminates against members of the Alavite branch of Islam by not providing public Alevite religious services, when services are provided for the majority Sunni population.
F.G. v. Sweden (no. 43611/11 - Grand Chamber Judgment 23 March 2016. Swedish authorities must assess the consequences of an Iranian national’s conversion to Christianity before deciding on his removal to Iran.
Parrillo v. Italy (no. 46470/11) - Grand Chamber Judgment 27 August 2015. Banning a woman from donating embryos obtained from in vitro fertilisation to scientific research was not contrary to respect for her private life.
Lambert and Others v. France (no. 46043/14) - Grand Chamber Judgment 5 June 2015 (rectified 26 June 2015). The case concerned the judgment delivered by the French Conseil d’État authorizing the withdrawal of the artificial nutrition and hydration of Vincent Lambert. Finding no consensus among the Council of Europe member states permitting the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, the Court concluded that States must be afforded a margin of appreciation. The legislative framework laid down by domestic law, as interpreted by the Conseil d’État, and the decision-making process, which had been conducted... more
Taran v. Russia (no. 11327/10) - Communicated 2 May 2016. Old Believer accused of crimes, remanded in custody, and forcibly shaved off by prinson officer, complains that the decision to remand lacked sufficient reason, that his Convention rights were violated when prison officials forcibly shaved the beard required by his faith.
Hamidović v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 57792/15) - Communicated 24 March 2016. Adherent of Wahhabi/Salafi version of Islam called to testify in court alleges violation of Convention rights in punishment for refusing to remove his cap (symbol of his religion) in the courtroom.
Pingen v. Germany (no. 11344/16) and Tlpak v. Germany (no. 11308/16) - Communicated 16 March 2016. Applicant members of the Twelve Tribes church (Zwölf Stämme) complain, mainly under Article 8, about decisions of the domestic courts regarding custody of their children.
Aydan and Others v. Armenia (no. 75604/11) - Communicated 29 February 2016. Four Jehovah's Witnesses complain of detention following their objection to the fact that the presecribed alternative to military service was still under supervision of the military.
Rule 47 of the Rules of Court, which introduces stricter conditions for applying to the Court, came into force on 1 January 2014. It is designed to enhance the Court’s efficiency and to speed up the examination of applications. This amendment to the Rules introduces two major changes which are immediately applicable and will determine whether an application is rejected or allocated to a judicial formation.