Journal Special Issue: European Court of Human Rights and minority religions

Religion, State and Society, 2017, 45 (3-4)

This contribution introduces a collection of studies focused on engagements of religious minorities with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Setting out first the global importance of the ECtHR as a standard setter in the protection of the rights of religious minorities, the text goes on to introduce the ten contributions that together make up the present special issue on the European Court of Human Rights and Religious Minorities. Beyond briefly summarising the contexts of the special issue, this contribution indicates that the first part of the special issue entails critical assessments of some of the Court’s case law dealing with religious minority claims (exploring on their clarity and consistency – or lack thereof – and controversiality), and that the second part offers insight into the grassroots level impact of the Court’s case law on religious minority claims. It explains how each of these contributions deepens our understanding of the ECtHR in its approach to and impact on religious minorities. And it introduces the fact that, rather uniquely, this collection of texts offers a rare vantage point on the ‘circle of life’ of the Court’s case law on religious minorities.

The texts that emanate from the Grassrootsmobilise research programme are available online; their titles are presented below as links to the full texts:

Effie Fokas & James T. Richardson

  • The principled slope: religious freedom and the European Court of Human Rights

Melanie Adrian

  • The freedom to wear religious clothing in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights: an appraisal in the light of states’ positive obligations

Marcella Ferri

  • Human rights and religions: ‘living together’ or dying apart? A critical assessment of the dissenting opinion in S.A.S. v. France and the notion of ‘living together’

Christos Tsevas

  • Militant or pluralist secularism? The European Court of Human Rights facing religious diversity

Roberta Medda-Windischer

  • Update on Jehovah’s Witness cases before the European Court of Human Rights: implications of a surprising partnership

James T. Richardson

Effie Fokas

Margarita Markoviti

Alberta Giorgi & Pasquale Annicchino

Mihai Popa & Liviu Andreescu

Ceren Ozgul