‘An underused resource’ at the grassroots level: Freedom of and from religion through the European Court of Human Rights

Blog post by Effie Fokas on the ‘rapid judicialization’ of religion at the European Court of Human Rights, and the Court and its rulings remaining unknown to many grassroots actors, for the LSE Religion and Global Society blog ‘Real-World Approaches: Freedom of Religion or Belief’ series, September 10, 2019.

In May 1993 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, or the Court) gave just satisfaction to Minos Kokkinakis, a Greek Jehovah’s Witness who had been arrested more than 60 times for the crime of proselytism. It was the first case, after its then 33 years of operation, that the Court had issued a judgement finding a state in violation of the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Since that 1993 judgement the Court has issued over 80 more, calling states out for FoRB infringements. Against the backdrop of this rapid judicialization of religion at the ECtHR it is worth considering, as one measure of successes and failures of FoRB on the ground, the extent to which the ECtHR’s FoRB-related decisions are known at the grassroots level and used by social actors on the ground to win their own ECtHR-established rights.

Read the full post here.