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.
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Karaahmed v. Bulgaria (no. 30587/13) - Chamber Judgment 24 February 2015. Local authorities failed to strike a proper balance, in their reponse to a violent demonstration outside a Sophia mosque, in consideration of rights of demonstrators and rights of Muslim worshippers, whose Article 9 rights were therefore violated.
Dimitrova v. Bulgaria (no. 15452/07) - Chamber Judgment 10 February 2015. The Court ruled that Bulgarian authorities violated a Christian woman’s Article 9 when they unjustly arrested her for private worship meetings in her home.
Chbihi Loudoudi and Others v. Belgium (no. 52265/10) - Chamber Judgment 16 December 2014. The case concerns the refusal of Belgian authorities to allow the applicants to adopt their Moroccan niece under the Islamic legal principle called kafala. The Court ruled against the applicants.
Fozil Nazarov v. Russia (no. 74759/13) - Chamber Judgment 11 December 2014. - The applicant is an Uzbek national who was put on a Uzbek wanted list for religious extremism and terrorism. He was arrested and detained in Russia, where he applied for asylum. The Court ruled that the forced return of the applicant to Uzbekistan would amount to a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.
Güler and Uğur v. Turkey (nos. 31706/10 and 33088/10) - Chamber Judgment 2 December 2014. The case concerned the applicants’ conviction for promoting a terrorist organization based on their participation in a religious service held on the premises of a political party in memory of three deceased PKK members who had... more
Hämäläinen v. Finland (no. 37359/09) - Grand Chamber Judgment 16 July 2014. The Court upheld a 2012 Fourth Section judgment regarding civil unions. The applicant is a Finnish national who underwent male-to-female gender reassignment surgery in 2009. Having previously changed her first names, she wished to obtain a new identity number that would indicate her female gender in her official documents. However, in order to do so her marriage to a woman would have had to be turned into a civil partnership, which she refused to accept. She complained under Articles 8, 12, and 14. However, the Grand Chamber agreed that there had been no violation of the applicant's rights.
S.A.S. v. France (no. 43835/11) - Grand Chamber Judgment 1 July 2014. The Court upheld a 2011 ban by France on full-face veils in public. The applicant, a French national and Muslim woman, complained that the law violated her rights under Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life), 9 (freedom of thought, conscience, and religion), and 10 (freedom of expression), as well as Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination). The Court found that "respect for the minimum set of values of an open democratic society," specifically the minimum requirements for "living together," outweighed the individual's choice to wear a full-face veil. By "raising a veil concealing the face" an individual... more
Baydar v. Turkey (no. 25632/13) - Communicated 17 November 2014. The applicant is a conscientious objector to required military service.
A.S.R. v. Turkey (no. 60079/14) - Communicated 13 November 2014. The applicant converted to Christianity while living in Iran and complains that he is at risk of being returned to Iran.