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II The Freedom Of Thought, Conscience And Religion: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at how Article 9 is constructed and operates in practice in order that a better understanding can be had of how it applies in the context of religious symbols. Article 9(1) provides an essential starting point, and the Convention bodies have frequently emphasised that 'Article 9 primarily protects the sphere of personal beliefs and religious creeds, i.e. the area which is sometimes called the forum internum'. Understanding what is meant by the 'manifestation' of religion or belief lies at the heart of the proper application of Article 9 and it presents a series of difficult questions, which will be considered in turn. The place of religion in the educational system raises many difficult and delicate questions. Children, as autonomous individuals, enjoy the freedom of religion or belief in their own right, as do adults.

Keywords: forum internum; freedom of religion; freedom of thought; manifestation

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