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Unformatted text preview: Making sense of the interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. A legal analysis and philosophical exploration (Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and John Rawls) of the various rationales of religious freedom grounding the case law of the ECtHR. Name: L.M. Huijbers Student number: 0723541 Masters: European Law: Human Rights and Migration Law Philosophy: Ethics Supervisors: prof. mr. J.H. Gerards dr. M.J. Becker Date: 13 February 2015 1 2 A reminder of the judiciary’s task to continuously switch from perspective in order to fully encompass the precious asset that the freedom of religion or belief is to individuals in all their diversities. 3 4 Preface After more than seven years of being a student the end of this fantastic period is near. In this period I have been able to dedicate myself to my strong sense of justice in a scientific manner, by putting emphasize in my studies on human rights and ethics. Before this research these two studies had been two separate parts of my academic life. The feedback that I often received with regard to my philosophical writings were that it was a bit (too) legal, and at the same time my legal analysis and texts were considered to have a touch of philosophy within them. The partition that was expected within these essays did not match with my inter-disciplinary nature. In my view, philosophy can provide a strong basis for the legal discipline and what is ‘right’, whilst knowledge of the law can help to put these philosophical observations into practice. Against that background, I wished to combine both disciplines within my master thesis. This piece before you can thus be considered as my ‘crowning glory’ of my life as an interdisciplinary student. Many thanks I owe to Janneke Gerards and Marcel Becker, who have not only been supervising my thesis, but also always have been supportive of the intertwined multidisciplinary approach in this research. I have experienced the collaboration as very pleasant, and I am much aware of the fact that this thesis has required extra flexibility and effort on their side. Notwithstanding the big volume of the research at hand, they consistently provided me with constructive feedback, new insights and precise comments, both on the main lines and on the details. Thank you, moreover, for the inspiring discussions and for supporting me during this project both on contents as on a personal level. An even greater gratitude goes out to my loving parents, who always have been there in the hours of need. By their persistent dedication to me (and my sisters) they enabled me to enjoy my life as a student to the fullest. The warm and loving home they have provided and their confidence invested in me, made it possible for me ‘to reach for the stars and beyond’. Furthermore much appraisal to my dear granny and my wonderful sisters – Sanne, Maartje and Dorien – who have provided me with excellent role-models and have always been my biggest fans. Thanks also to my fantastic and cheerful friends, who have showed me in many different ways how to make the most out of life. One of them I wish to mention in particular, that is my dearest friend Bianca Buijsingh. From the start of our journey as students you have been my best friend, my ying, my blanky. You have provided me with the much needed lightness, wisdom and most importantly with a little bit of sassiness. You always will be dear to me and your positive spirit remains to be felt. Thank you all! Leonie Huijbers, 16 January 2015 5 6 Table of Contents Preface..................................................................................................................................................... 5 Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 Summary [Dutch] .................................................................................................................................. 10 Introduction........................................................................................................................................... 12 1.1. Background ............................................................................................................................ 12 1.2. Purpose and Research Questions .......................................................................................... 13 1.3. Methodology, Approach and Outline .................................................................................... 14 PART I .................................................................................................................................................... 17 Chapter 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 18 1.1. International Recognition of Religious Freedom................................................................... 18 1.2. Methodology, Approach and Outline .................................................................................... 21 Chapter 2 Rationale of Human Dignity.................................................................................................. 26 2.1. Human Dignity and Religious Freedom ................................................................................. 26 2.2. Divine Revelation or Universal Rationality ............................................................................ 30 2.3. Autonomy and Intrinsic Dignity of Human Beings ................................................................ 33 2.4. Freedom as the One Innate Right ......................................................................................... 40 2.5. Religious Freedom as Inherent Part of Human Dignity ......................................................... 45 2.6. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 48 Chapter 3 Rationale of Maximization of Religious Enjoyment.............................................................. 50 3.1. Protection of Religious Truth and One’s Own Religion ......................................................... 51 3.2. Religious Pragmatic Reasoning .............................................................................................. 53 3.3. The Greatest Happiness-Principle and the Harm-Principle ................................................... 55 3.4. Religious Freedom as Freedom to Practice Unless There is Harm ........................................ 59 3.5. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 61 Chapter 4 Rationale of (Inter)National Stability .................................................................................... 62 4.1. Haunted by Horrors and the Prospect of Peace .................................................................... 63 4.2. From Historical Experience to International Stability ........................................................... 64 4.3. Reasonable Citizens, the Original Position and Overlapping Consensus .............................. 68 4.4. Religious Freedom as Consequence of Reasonable Pluralism .............................................. 71 4.5. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 74 Chapter 5 Comparing the Rationales .................................................................................................... 75 5.1. Forum Internum and Forum Externum .................................................................................. 76 5.2. Negative and Positive State Obligations ............................................................................... 78 5.3. The Principles Governing the Balancing of Rights ................................................................. 80 7 5.4. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 82 PART II ................................................................................................................................................... 83 Chapter 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 84 1.1. Protection of Religious Freedom under the European Convention on Human Rights ......... 84 1.2. System of the European Convention on Human Rights ........................................................ 88 1.2.1. The Competence and Role of the European Court of Human Rights ............................ 88 1.2.2. Structure of the Judgments of the European Court on Human Rights ......................... 93 1.3. Transposition of the Rationales to the European Context .................................................... 97 1.4. Concluding Remarks and Outline ........................................................................................ 103 Chapter 2 Religion and belief – the Forum Internum .......................................................................... 105 2.1. Defining Religion.................................................................................................................. 108 2.1.1. Burden of Proof ........................................................................................................... 108 2.1.2. Traditional and non-traditional religions: the case of Scientology ............................. 110 2.2. Defining Belief ..................................................................................................................... 114 2.2.1. Belief: Views with a Certain Level of Cogency, Seriousness, Cohesion and Importance …. ................................................................................................................................. 114 2.2.2. The Application of the Campbell and Cosans-criteria ................................................. 116 2.2.2.1. Views That Are not A Belief ................................................................................. 117 2.2.2.1.1. Views That Lack a Sufficient Degree of Cogency, Seriousness, Cohesion and Importance ...................................................................................................... 117 2.2.2.1.2. Views Incompatible With the Principles Underlying The Convention and Human Dignity............................................................................................................... 119 2.2.2.2. 2.3. 2.4. Views That Are a Belief: Pacifism ........................................................................ 120 Rights Derived From the Rights Pertaining to the Forum Internum.................................... 122 2.3.1.1. The Right to Conscientious Objection ................................................................. 122 2.3.1.2. Right to Hold or Not to Hold a Religion or Belief ................................................ 125 2.3.1.3. Right Not to Be Obliged to Disclose One’s Religion or Belief .............................. 126 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 127 Chapter 3 Religious Manifestation – the Forum Externum................................................................. 130 3.1. The Three Categories of Religious Manifestation – Social aspects, location and form of manifestation of religion or belief ....................................................................................... 131 3.2. The Connection between the Manifestation and the Religion or Belief............................. 133 3.2.1. The Arrowsmith-test: An actual expression of religion or merely motivated by it? ... 135 3.2.2. Approaches of the Court – Objective and Subjective.................................................. 138 3.2.2.1. The Objective Approach ...................................................................................... 138 8 3.2.2.2. 3.3. The Subjective Approach ..................................................................................... 143 The Protected Religious Manifestations ............................................................................. 148 3.3.1. Teaching – The Case of Proselytism: Teaching the Unconverted ............................... 148 3.3.2. Worship – The Collective Dimension: The Autonomous Existence of Religious Organizations and the Role of Religious Leaders ........................................................ 152 3.3.3. Observance – The Case of Ritual Slaughter ................................................................. 156 3.4. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 159 Chapter 4 Justifications of Limitations on Religious Manifestation ................................................... 161 4.1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 161 4.2. General concepts relating to ‘necessary in a democratic society’ ...................................... 163 4.2.1. 4.3. General Application of the Requirement ‘Necessary in a Democratic Society’ .......... 164 Margin of Appreciation ....................................................................................................... 169 4.3.1. Wide Margin of Appreciation ...................................................................................... 171 4.3.2. Narrow(er) Margin of Appreciation – True Religious Pluralism and The State as a Neutral and Impartial Arbiter ...................................................................................... 173 4.4. Case-study: The Blanket Ban on Headscarves in Public Spaced in France (S.A.S.).............. 178 4.4.1. The Background of S.A.S. ............................................................................................. 179 4.4.2. The Legitimate Aim of the French Blanket Ban: ‘Living Together’ .............................. 180 4.4.3. Necessary in A Democratic Society ............................................................................. 182 4.4.3.1. Pressing Social Need: Conditions on Participation in Society ............................. 182 4.4.3.2. Proportionality to the Pursued Aim: Restricted Pluralism as a Democratic Choice of Society ............................................................................................................. 183 4.4.4. 4.5. A Race for (Inter)National Stability.............................................................................. 185 4.4.4.1. International Stability: A Minimum Account of Religious Garment .................... 185 4.4.4.2. National Stability: A Paternalistic and Exclusive Interpretation of Religious Pluralism in Public Spaces.................................................................................... 186 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 190 Chapter 5 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 192 5.1. Rationale of Human Dignity ................................................................................................ 192 5.2. Rationale of Maximization of Religious Enjoyment ............................................................ 194 5.3. Rationale of (inter)National Stability................................................................................... 195 5.4. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 197 Bibliography Part I ............................................................................................................................... 200 Bibliography Part II .............................................................................................................................. 206 9 Summary [Dutch] In artikel 9 van het Europese Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens (EVRM) is het recht op vrijheid van gedachte, geweten en godsdienst vastgelegd. Daarmee wordt zowel het hebben van een geloof en het veranderen ervan beschermd (forum internum), als de manifestatie van geloof of levensovertuiging (forum externum). Geloofsmanifestaties kunnen door een Staat worden beperkt wanneer dit is voorgeschreven bij de wet, een legitiem doel dient en het noodzakelijk is in een democratische samenleving. Het Europese Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens (EHRM of Hof) heeft voor het eerst in 1993 inhoudelijk uitspraak gedaan in een zaak over het recht op godsdienstvrijheid en is sindsdien steeds vaker geconfronteerd met complexe en gevoelige zaken rondom dat recht. Door de jaren heen is de jurisprudentie van het Hof sterk bekritiseerd, onder meer vanwege de opvatting dat er een inadequaat raamwerk ten grondslag ligt aan deze jurisprudentie en dat deze inconsistent is toegepast. Een van de redenen hiervoor zou zijn dat het Hof te weinig belang hecht aan een gedegen begrip van de grondgedachten, ‘de rationales’, achter godsdienstvrijheid. Derhalve wordt in dit onderzoek nagegaan wat deze rationales behelzen, in hoeverre deze terug te vinden zijn in de jurisprudentie van het EHRM en wat de consequenties zijn van verscheidene rationales voor de bescherming van godsdienstvrijheid. In het eerste deel van deze scriptie, worden drie (hoofd)rationales onderscheiden: de rationale van menselijke waardigheid, maximalisatie van religieus genot en (inter)nationale stabiliteit. Om een goed inzicht te verwerven in de betekenis en beschermingsreikwijdte van godsdienstvrijheid worden deze grondgedachten geplaatst in het kader van de theorieën van Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill en John Rawls. Daaruit blijkt dat de verschillende belangen die binnen de rationales worden nagestreefd leiden tot een andere invulling van godsdienstvrijheid. Daarbij verschillen de interpretaties overwegend ten aanzien van de toepassingsreikwijdte van artikel 9 EVRM, de grondslag van rechtvaardige beperkingen, de verhouding religie en Staat en de positieve verplichtingen van de Staat. In het tweede deel wordt gekeken naar de (impliciete) overwegingen die het Hof heeft gemaakt ten aanzien van de begrippen ‘religie’ en ‘geloofsovertuiging’, de reikwijdte van religieuze manifestatie en de belangenafweging voor de rechtvaardiging van beperkingen van het forum externum. Uit deze juridische analyse volgt duidelijk dat deze overwegingen gestoeld zijn op de drie rationales. Per onderwerp verschilt de grondgedachte waarop de overwegingen van het Hof voornamelijk steunt en regelmatig komt naar voren dat de beschouwing van het Hof op een bepaald onderwerp door de jaren heen van de ene rationale naar de andere is geschoven. 10 De combinatie van deze juridische analyse met het inzicht dat op basis van deze rationales verschillend invulling wordt gegeven aan het recht op godsdienstvrijheid, maken de consequenties van het aanhangen van verschillende rationales zichtbaar. Namelijk dat er per onderwerp verschillende beschermingsreikwijdtes door het Hof worden verbonden aan godsdienstvrijheid. Dit zou ten grondslag kunnen liggen aan de verschillende kritieken die het Hof heeft ontvangen. Hiermee wordt het belang van een gedegen begrip door het EHRM van de verschillende rationales onderstreept én bovendien wordt, door de uitgebreide uiteenzetting van deze rationales, mogelijk een begin geleverd voor de versteviging voor het juridisch raamwerk inzake artikel 9 EVRM. 11 Introduction 1.1. Background It was not until the Kokkinakis-case1 in 1993 that the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: the ECtHR or the Court) dealt with a case on the merits concerning the right to freedom of thou...
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