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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Magyarországi Evangéliumi Testvérközösség [Hungarian Evangelical Brotherhood] v. Hungary (no. 54977/12) – Fourth Section Judgment 25 April 2017. Just satisfaction awarded in church registration case. "The Court noted that there was no dispute between the parties on the issue of compensation for the damage..., notably for the loss of personal income tax donations and the corresponding supplementary state subsidy, the loss of state subsidies intended to support the Brotherhood's social and educational institutions, the loss of subsidies for religious teaching and the loss of salary supplement payable to staff employed by church institutions providing public-interest services. It therefore agreed unanimously to award the Brotherhood a lump... more
Religious Community of Jehovah Witnesses v Azerbaijan (No. 52884/09) - Communicated 23 March 2017. The refusal by the State Committee for Work and Religious Associations to allow import of specific literature that contained content hostile to other (mostly Christian) religions was upheld on appeal. The applicant community complains that domestic authorities refusal to allow the import of religious literature constituted unlawful interference, under Articles 9 and 10, with its right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
Gabunia and Other v. Georgia (No. 37276/05) - Communicated 14 March 2017. Applicants complain that thier right to freely practice their religion under Article 9 in conjuction with Article 14, because, inter alia, their religious meetings were violently disrupted.
Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy (no. 25358/12) - Grand Chamber Judgment 24 January 2017. The case concerned the placement in social-service care of a nine-month-old child who had been born in Russia following a gestational surrogacy contract entered into by a couple; it subsequently transpired that they had no biological relationship with the child. In its judgment of 27 January 2015, the Court's Second Section found a violation of ECHR Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), "in particular that the public-policy considerations underlying Italian authorities’ decisions – finding that the applicants had attempted to circumvent the prohibition in Italy on using surrogacy arrangements and the rules governing international adoption – could not take precedence over the best interests of the child, in spite of the absence of any biological relationship and the short period during which the applicants had cared for him. Reiterating that the removal of a child from the family setting was an extreme measure that could be justified only in the event of immediate danger to that child, the Court considered that, in the present case, the conditions justifying a removal had not been met. However, the Court’s conclusions were not to be understood as obliging the Italian State to return the child to the applicants, as he had undoubtedly developed emotional... more
The COURTalks-disCOURs videos are geared to providing legal professionals, as well as civil society representatives, with an overview of the Court’s jurisprudence in different matters. Made in cooperation with the European HELP programme, these educational videos are subtitled in different languages and are available with a transcript setting out the relevant case-law precedents in each sphere.