This study analyses the notion of ‘conscientious objection’ with the aim of identifying criteria in order to determine to what extent it is legitimate, in view of freedom of conscience and religion, to sanction individuals for refusing to take part in an activity which they claim to be incompatible with their convictions. First the study clarifies concepts of conscientious objection. Then it examines the case law of international bodies and draws distinctions in order to differentiate several types of objection, and from here it identifies evaluation criteria appropriate to the distinctions which emerge in those objection types. Finally, the study proposes what rights and obligations arise for the State as to the different types of objection.
This essay is part of a very important work, for freedom of conscience is widely debated over nowadays, particularly as regards new biomedical technologies and abortion.
You can also consult the summary of this essay free of charge. This summary was presented during a seminar at the European Court of Human Rights, as well as to the Italian and French Parliaments. It will also be presented to the United Nations in June 2017.
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