New challenges to the Freedom of Religion in Europe in the Light of the Recent Judgments of the ECHR

Freedom of Religion: New Challenges

By ECLJ1545074482605

On 13 December 2018, the ECLJ coorganized a Seminar at the Council of Europe: "New challenges to the Freedom of Religion in Europe in the Light of the Recent Judgments of the ECHR"

The seminar was organised with the view to concentrate on the issue of the latest developments in the European Court of Human Rights case law related to the respect of religious beliefs. In the context of existing collisions between the freedom of religion (Article 9) and freedom of expression (Article 10) the necessity of striking the right balance in this field remains of utmost importance. The issue of the coherence of the approaches in application and interpretation of this provision were also raised by the participating experts, in particular in the light of:

Sekmadienis Ltd. v. Lituania (n° 69317/14), 31 January 2018,

Mariya Alekhina and others v. Russia (n° 38004/12), 17 July 2018,

E. S. v. Austria (n° 38450/12), 25 October 2018, (read here our Observations)

Asociación de Abogados Cristianos v. Spain (n° 22604/18), introduced 26 April 2018, Communicated 20 June 2019.

Accordingly, the seminar aimed at elaborating proposals for a better consistency in this sphere and thus guaranteeing more effective protection of freedoms of religion and expression in the Council of Europe Member States. This seminar was organized by the European Centre for Law and Justice and the Institute for State-Confessional Relations and the Law (NGO, Moscow), in cooperation with the Russian Legal Information Agency and the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Strasbourg.


You will find below the interventions of the panelists:


  • Introduction (in French)

Grégor Puppinck, PhD, Director of the ECLJ, Member of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief.


Karine Bechet-Golovko, Doctor in Law, Visiting Professor at the State University of Moscow, President of Comitas Gentium France-Russie.


Igor Ponkin, PhD, Director of the Institute for State-Confessional Relations and the Law, Moscow.


  • Concerns with the case of Sekmadienis Ltd. v. Lituania 

Dr. Zigmas Garalevičius, Legal Advisor of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference.


Roger Kiska, J.D., Christian Concern, London.


  • Concerns with the case of Asociación de Abogados Cristianos v. Spain

Polonia Castellanos, President of the Asociación de Abogados Cristianos, Valladolid.

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