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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.

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Orthodox Ohrid Archdiocese v. Macedonia (no. 3532/07) - First Section Judgment 16 November 2017. Applicant is a religious organization not granted official status at the national level. It apealded the refusal to register it to the Court, saying that the decision violated its rights under Articles 9 (freedom of religion) and 11 (freedom of association), and that its members were put in disadvantaged positions in relation to members of recognized churches. In its judgment of 16 November 2017 found, unanimously, that Macedonia's refusal to register the association as a religious entitry violated its rights under Article 11 interpreted in the light of Aritcle 9.  "It could not be said that the reasons provided by the national authorities, taken as a whole, were 'relevant and sufficient' to justify the interference and the manner in which the domestic authorities refused the recognition of the applicant association as a religious organisation could not be accepted as necessary in a democratic society."

Adyan and Others v. Armenia (no. 75604/11) - First Section Judgment  12 October 2017. Applicants are Armenian nationals and members of Jehovah's Witnesses who complained... more

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Kulesh and Others v. Russia (no. 45919/13 and 3 Others) - Communicated 5 October 2017. Applicants complain of inhuman conditions while detained, in particular, applicant's regular forced shaving. The Court questions whether applicants' mental suffering on account of the shaving was sufficiently serious to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment within meaning of Article 3 of Convention and whether the practice of wearing long hair and a beard was a manifestation of applicant's freedom of religion within meaning of this provision? If so, was interference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 9 § 2? 

Fouquet v. France (no. 59227/12) - Communicated 2 October 2017 (available only in French). Applicant is a French national who complains, among other complaints, of having been forced to convert to religion of her foster family, members of Jehovah's Witnesses, while she was of Muslim faith. The Court questions whether the applicant's freedom of religion had been infringed upon within meaning of Article 9 § 1 of Convention and if so whether domestic authorities have satisfied their positive obligation to protect the applicant from forced... 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