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Welcome to the Site of the Strasbourg Consortium 
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PLEASE NOTE: This site has no official affiliation with the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights. It is independently operated by the staff of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School in the United States. 

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.  For links to information on the operations of the Court, see About the Court.

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Molli Sali v. Greece (no. 20452/14) - Grand Chamber Judgment 19 December 2018.  The case concerned the application by the Greek courts of Islamic religious (Sharia) law to a dispute concerning inheritance rights over the estate of the late husband of Ms Molla Sali, a Greek national belonging to the country’s Muslim minority. The Court's First Section relinquished jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber on 8 June 2017. The Grand Chamber heard arguments in the case on 6 December 2017, and while judgment was awaited, on 9 January 2018 the Greek Parliament voted to limit the powers of Islamic courts operating in Thrace, home about 100,000 Muslims. In its judgment of 19 December 2018, the Grand Chamber found a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), read in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). In particular, "the difference in... more

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Wunderlich v. Germany (no. 18925/15) - Fifth Section Chamber Judgment 10 January 2019. The case conccerned concerns the deprivation of certain custody rights and the subsequent placement of the applicants’ four children in public care, after the applicants had consistently refused to send them to school, choosing instead to homeschool their children, according, the parents asserted, to their children's best interests.  In its judgment of 10 January 2019 the Court held, unanimously, that there had been no Article 8 (respect for private and family life) in the action of the German authorities. "The Court found in particular that the enforcement of compulsory school attendance in order to ensure the children’s integration into society was a relevant reason for justifying the partial withdrawal of parental authority. / The Court also found that the authorities had reasonably assumed that the children were isolated, had had no contact with anyone outside of the family and that a risk to their physical integrity had existed. It held that the actual removal of the children had not lasted any longer than was necessary to ensure the children’s best interests. The Court concluded that there were “relevant and sufficient” reasons for the withdrawal... more

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Glazov LRO and others v. Russia (no. 3215/18) - Communicated 7 May 2018). "The applicants are 395 local religious organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, their chairpersons and other members. They complain about the allegedly discriminatory judgment of the Supreme Court of Russia of 20 April 2017 declaring all of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organisations in Russia extremist, ordering their liquidation, banning their religious activities and confiscation of their property (see, for details, application no. 10188/17 Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and Kalin v. Russia, communicated on 1 December 2017). The applicants also complain about the domestic courts’ failure to ensure their effective participation in the proceedings." The Court queries whether ther were violations of Articles 9 and 11, taken on their own or in conjunction with Article 14, or of Article 1 or Protocol 1 (due to decision to confiscate property), an of Article 6 § 1 (domestic courts dismissal of applicants’ request to join the proceedings [of Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and Kalin v. Russia] as an interested party... more