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Welcome to the Site of the Strasbourg Consortium 
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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.

Image for Recent Decisions, Judgments, and Hearings

GRA Stiftung gegen Rassismus und Antisemitismus v. Switzerland (no. 18597/13) - Third Section Judgment 9 January 2018. From the Court's press release:  The case concerned a complaint by a non-governmental organisation that its right to freedom of expression had been infringed because the domestic courts had found that it had defamed a politician by classifying his remarks at a speech during a campaign ahead of a 2009 referendum on banning minarets in Switzerland as "verbal racism". In its judgment of 9 January 2018, the Court found a violation of ECHR Article 10 (right to freedom of expression), in particular that the context of the debate at the time of the referendum – including other criticisms of the referendum itself by human rights bodies – meant that the organisation’s use of the words "verbal racism" had not been without factual foundation. The penalty imposed on the organisation might also have had a chilling effect on its freedom of expression. Overall, in reviewing the circumstances submitted for their assessment, the domestic courts had not given due consideration to the principles and criteria laid down by the Court’s caselaw for... more

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Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and Kalin v. Russia (no. 10188/17) - Communicated 1 December 2017.  The applicants are an umbrella organization for the Jehovah's Witnesses local and regional organizations operating in Russia, and its chairman. By an April 2017 judgment, the Russian Supreme Court granted the Ministry of Justice's claim that the Administrative Centre had breached the Suprression of Extremism Act by importing, storing and distributing literature that had been listed as extremist. The applicants complain under ECHR Article 9 (freedom of religion or belief) in conjunction with Article 11 (freedom of assembly) and Article 14 (discrimination) about "an unlawful, unjustified and discriminatory interference with their right to freedom of religion on account of the liquidation of the Administrative Centre" by Russian authorities. The Administrative Centre in addition complains under Article 1 of Protocol no. 1 about the confiscation of its property.  The applicants complain that the liquidation of the Administrative Centre is an unlawful, unjustified and discriminatory interference with the applicant's freedom of religion.  ... more

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Kàroly Nagy v. Hungary (no. 56665/09) - Grand Chamber Judgment 14 September 2017). Kàroly Nagy, a pastor in the Hungarian Calvinist Church, was dismissed following a disciplinary procedure in 2006. He initiated labor-law proceedings for unpaid renumeration against the church, but complained that his case was dismissed by state courts because they are ecclesiastical in nature. Mr Nagy then brought proceedings before both the labour and civil courts. Both sets of proceedings were ultimately discontinued on the ground that the courts had no jurisdiction. The labour courts discontinued the proceedings in December 2006, on the ground that the dispute concerned Mr Nagy’s service as a pastor and therefore the provisions of Labour Law were not applicable in his case. That decision was upheld on appeal in April 2007. Mr Nagy’s civil-law claim was also ultimately... more

The Court has published new factsheets 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