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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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Smajić v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 48657/16) - Fourth Section Committee Inadmissibility DecisionThe applicant is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a lawyer. He was convicted for making a number of posts on an Internet forum describing military action which could be undertaken against Serb villages in the Brčko District in the event of another war. Before the ECtHR he alleged that he had been convicted for expressing his opinion on a matter of public concern, in breach of Article 10 (freedom of expression). He also made two complaints under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial and right to legal assistance of own choosing) with regard to the fairness of the proceedings brought against him.  He made further complaints under Article 9 (freedom of religion or belief) and 14 (discrimination). The Court found the application inadmissbile: Tthe domestic courts had examined Mr Smajić’s case with care, giving sufficient justification for his conviction, namely that he had used highly insulting expressions towards Serbs, thus touching upon the very sensitive matter of ethnic relations in post-conflict Bosnian society. Furthermore, the Court did not see any reason to disagree with the domestic courts’ dismissal of Mr Smajić’s complaints about the fairness of the proceedings against him. The application of the domestic... more

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Mani and Others v. Russia (no. 54264/17) - Communicated 19 January 2018.  Applicants are an Indian spiritual teacher, his Russian wife, and their infant child who also has Russian nationality. The first applicant was held liable for a newly created administrative offence of unauthorised "missionary activities" which had been introduced into Russian legislation in 2016. He was sanctioned with a fine and administrative removal from Russia which had the effect of splitting up their family. In its questions to the government the Court asks whether a violation of Article 9 ECHR has occurred, in particular whether legal provisions were sufficiently foreseeable and whether a disctinction has been drawn between "missionary activities" carried out by a religious group and individual evangelism. The Court raises further questions about difference in treatment between Russian and foreign nationals, about consideration of the welfare of the infant child, about availability of an effective domestic remedy, and about proper balance of the interests at stake.

Velitov v. Russia (no. 73328/17) - Communicated 10 January 2018.  Applicant is the imam of a Moscow mosque convicted of... 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