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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17-19 November 2014. An International Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, Vatican City
21-22 November 2014. Conference on "Missionary Activities and Human Rights", Oslo, Norway
Islam-Ittihad Association and Others v. Azerbaijan (no. 5548/05) - Chamber Judgment 13 November 2014. The case concerns the dissolution of the applicant organization, which had been formed to maintain and repair mosques. Its dissolution was ordered by a district court in 2003 after repeated warnings that the organization was unlawfully participating in religious activites. The Court found that there had been a violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly).
Sociedad Anonima del Ucieza v. Spain (no. 38963/08) - Chamber Judgment 4 November 2014. The case concerns the ownership of a medieval church, which had been registered as belonging to both the applicant company and the Diocese of Palencia. The applicant company had been unsuccessful in obtaining sole ownership of the church through domestic means. The Court ruled that there had been a violation of Article Article 6 § 1 (right of access to an appeal on points of law) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).
Peltereau-Villeneuve v. Switzerland (no. 60101/09) - Chamber Judgment 28 October 2014. The applicant is a Swiss priest who was accused of sexual abuse. He complained that his right to be presumed innocent under 6 § 2 was violated by the public prosecutor, who used incriminating terms that were then released. The Court found in favor of the applicant.
Gough v. United Kingdom (no. 49327/11) - Chamber Judgment 28 October 2014. The applicant is a nudist who complained that his right to freedom of expression was violated due to his long imprisonment for refusing to wear clothes. The... 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
Fondation du Monastere Syriaque de Saint-Gabriel à Midyat v. Turkey (no. 61412/11) - Communicated 18 August 2014. The case is a property dispute involving a monastery in Turkey.
L’Archidiocèse Catholique de Bucarest v. Romania (no. 3524/10) - Communicated 10 October 2014. The case concerns the construction of a tower next to a Catholic cathedral. The applicant claims that the tower's presence infringes on the freedom of religious practice of believers.