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UNLOCKING AND ADVANCING THE PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IN STRASBOURG: TOWARDS SUB-DIVIDING “THE PUBLIC SPHERE”

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Given the increasing religious diversification of European societies, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the pertinent Strasbourg jurisprudence are fast becoming a key consideration and reference point for States and their policy-makers. ECHR obligations effectively co-determine how States can and sometimes must protect religious beliefs. Without relying on abstract concepts, this contribution aims first to provide an overview of the approach that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) actually requires from States. It will be suggested that a useful way to make the case law (more) practicable would be for the Strasbourg Court (and those interpreting its work) to clarify when and how ECHR obligations are prescriptive or circumscriptive of States’ policy-making powers. The contribution will then go on to analyse some recent trends in the ECtHR case law, including the 2011 Lautsi ruling. This will lead to a proposal for the ECtHR to refine its case law by distinguishing two different scenarios in which religious beliefs are invoked.

10.1163/22116133-90000217
/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000217
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/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000217
2011-01-01
2016-12-03

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