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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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.
Lupeni Greek Catholic Parish and Others v. Romania (no 76943/11) - Grand Chamber Judgment 29 November 2016. The applicants' requested restitution of a place of worship that had belonged to the Greek Catholic Church and was transferred during the totalitarian regime in Romania to the ownership of the Orthodox Church. The claim was dismissed by the Romanian courts, and the property was not returned. The Court found a violation of Article 6 § 1 in a breach of the principle of legal certainty and the length of the proceedings and ordered restitution in respect of non-pecuniary damage and expenses. (See comment by Frank Cranmer at Law & Religion UK.)
İzzettin Doğan and Others v. Turkey (no. 62649/10) - Grand Chamber Judgment 26 April 2016. The Turkish state discriminates against members of the Alavite branch of Islam by not providing public Alevite religious services, when services are provided for the majority Sunni population.
F.G. v. Sweden (no. 43611/11 - Grand Chamber Judgment 23 March 2016. Swedish authorities must assess the consequences of an Iranian national’s conversion to Christianity before deciding on his removal to Iran.
Savda v. Turkey (No 2) (no 2458/12) [judgment in French only] - Second Section Judgment 15 November 2016. From the Court's Press Release: The case concerned the criminal conviction of a Turkish national, Mr Savda, for having read out a statement to the press entitled "We are in solidarity with the Israeli conscientious objectors". On 1 August 2006 five individuals, members of the Anti-Militarist Platform, met in front of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul, in support of Israeli conscientious objectors. In the course of the gathering Mr Savda read out a statement for the attention of the press. Criminal proceedings were brought against him and in August 2008 he was sentenced to a five-month prison sentence on the ground that he had incited the population to evade military service by means of a public statement; the court noted in particular that Mr Savda was a conscientious objector and that he had called on persons who did not define themselves as conscientious objectors to evade... more
Taran v. Russia (no. 11327/10) - Communicated 2 May 2016. Old Believer accused of crimes, remanded in custody, and forcibly shaved off by prinson officer, complains that the decision to remand lacked sufficient reason, that his Convention rights were violated when prison officials forcibly shaved the beard required by his faith.
Hamidović v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 57792/15) - Communicated 24 March 2016. Adherent of Wahhabi/Salafi version of Islam called to testify in court alleges violation of Convention rights in punishment for refusing to remove his cap (symbol of his religion) in the courtroom.
Pingen v. Germany (no. 11344/16) and Tlpak v. Germany (no. 11308/16) - Communicated 16 March 2016. Applicant members of the Twelve Tribes church (Zwölf Stämme) complain, mainly under Article 8, about decisions of the domestic courts regarding custody of their children.
Aydan and Others v. Armenia (no. 75604/11) - Communicated 29 February 2016. Four Jehovah's Witnesses complain of detention following their objection to the fact that the presecribed alternative to military service was still under supervision of the military.