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. It has no official affiliation with the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights.
Papavasilakis v. Greece [judgment in French only[ (no.66899/14) - First Section Judgment 15 September 2016. The Court held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 9 in the Greek authorities’ refusal to grant the applicant the status of conscientious objector and to allow him to do alternative civilian work instead of military service. In particular, the Greek authorities had failed in their duty to ensure that the interviewing of conscientious objectors by the Special Board took place in conditions that guaranteed procedural efficiency and the equal representation required by domestic law. Mr Papavasilakis had been interviewed by a Board made up primarily of servicemen, two of the civilian members of the Board being absent but not replaced; that the Minister of Defence’s final decision, on the basis of a draft ministerial decision following the Board’s... 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.
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.