Balancing the autonomy of religious institutions with the right to a private and family life? A commentary on Fernández Martínez v. Spain

Panagiota Emmanouilidou

ELIAMEP Briefing Notes, 2014, No. 32

On 12 June 2014, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter the ECtHR or the Court) delivered its final and long-awaited judgment in Fernández Martínez v. Spain. The case concerns the non-renewal of the contract of a religion teacher by the Spanish State, because his personal status, as a married priest, was considered incompatible with the principles of the Catholic Church. Released a few days before another ECtHR judgment on a controversial religion issue, the French burqa ban, the present case raises important questions regarding the balance between two fundamental rights, the right to autonomy of religious institutions and the right to a private and family life of an individual.

Download: Emmanouilidou – ELIAMEP 2014