CCR №2 (123) 2018
Religion and equality: from managing pluralism towards a European requirement of state neutrality

Abstract
In the footsteps of the Kokkinakis judgment the ECtHR turned Article 9 into a vehicle wherein restrictions of religious liberty in the name of peaceful coexistence in a plural society are woven into the fabric of human rights analysis. In practice this means that the jurisprudence of the Court assists member states in maintaining legal rules and practices that favor historically dominant churches or majorities to the detriment of unpopular or non-traditional religious minorities. Recently the ECtHR appears to have adjusted the intellectual framework of its approach to religious freedom under Article 9 by invoking the requirement of state neutrality and impartiality alongside the duty to preserve religious pluralism. Case by case, the duty of neutrality has become a source of obligations, such as the prohibition of arbitrary state action or the prohibition of coercion in matters of conscience. In addition, the Court started to infuse cautiously the requirement of state neutrality with elements familiar from its non-discrimination jurisprudence and premises drawn from the principle of the rule of law under other Convention rights.

About the author 
Renata Uitz – Professor, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law Program of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

Citation 
Uitz R. (2018) Religiya i ravenstvo: ot obespecheniya plyuralizma k evropeyskomu trebovaniyu neytral’nosti gosudarstva [Religion and equality: from managing pluralism towards a European requirement of state neutrality]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.27, no. 1, pp.14–33. (In Russian).

References

Arnardóttir O.M. (2014) The Differences that Make a Difference: Recent Developments on the Discrimination Grounds and the Margin of Appreciation under Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Human Rights Law Review, vol.14, no.4, pp.647–670.

Baubérot J. (2010) The Evoultion of Secularism in France: Between Two Civic Religions. In: Cady L.E., Hurd E.S. (eds.) Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age, New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, pp.57–68.

Berry S. (2017) Religious Freedom and the European Court of Human Rights’ Two Margins of Appreciation. Religion & Human Rights, vol.12, nos.2–3, pp.198–209.

Bielefeldt H., Ghanea N., Wiener M. (2016) Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Calo Z.R. (2010) Pluralism, Secularism and the European Court of Human Rights. Journal of Law and Religion, vol.26, no.1, pp.261–280.

Evans C. (2001) Freedom of Religion under the European Convention of Human Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Evans C. (2010) Individual and Group Religious Freedom in the European Court of Human Rights: Cracks in the Intellectual Architecture. Journal of Law and Religion, vol.26, no.1, pp.321–344.

Evans M. (2004) Historical Analysis of Freedom of Religion or Belief as a Technique of Resolving Religious Conflict. In: Lindholm T., Durham W.C., Jr., Tahzib-Lie B.G. (eds.) Facilitating Freedom of Religion: A Deskbook, Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Evans M.D. (2011) Freedom of Religion and the European Convention on Human Rights: Approaches, Trends and Tensions. In: Cane P., Evans C., Robinson Z. (eds.) Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.291–315.

Evans M., Petkoff P. (2008) A Separation of Convenience? The Concept of Neutrality in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. Religion, State and Society, vol.36, no.3, pp.205–223.

Fredman S. (2016) Emerging from the Shadows: Substantive Equality and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Human Rights Law Review, vol.16, no.2, pp.273–301.

Ghanea N. (2012) Religion, Equality, and Non-Discrimination. In: Witte J., Jr., Green M.Ch. (eds.) Religion and Human Rights: An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.204–217.

Grabenwarter Сh. (2014) European Convention on Human Rights: Commentary, Münich: C.H.Beck; Oxford: Hart Publishing; Baden-Baden: Nomos; Basel: Helbing Lichtenhahn.

Gunn T.J. (2004) Religious Freedom and Laicité: A Comparison of the United States and France. Brigham Young University Law Review, no.2, pp.419–506.

Gunn T.J. (2003) The Complexity of Religion and the Definition of “Religion” under International Law. Harvard Human Rights Journal, vol.16, pp.189–215.

Henrard K. (2015) How the European Court of Human Rights’ Concern Regarding European Consensus Tempers the Effective Protection of Freedom of Religion. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, vol.4, no.3, pp.398–420.

Leigh I. (2013) The European Court of Human Rights and Religious Neutrality. In: D’Costa G., Evans M., Madood T., Rivers J. (eds.) Religion in a Liberal State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.38–66.

Leigh I., Adhar R. (2012) Post-Secularism and the European Court of Human Rights: Or How God Never Really Went Away. Modern Law Review, vol.75, no.6, pp.1064–1098.

Lykes V.A., Richardson J.T. (2014) The European Court of Human Rights, Minority Religions, and New versus Original Member States. In: Richardson J.T., Bellanger F. (eds.) Legal Cases, New Religious Movements, and Minority Faiths, Farnham; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, pp.171–204.

Mancini S., Rosenfeld M. (2012) Unveiling the Limits of Tolerance: Comparing the Treatment of Majority and Minority Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere. In: Zucca L., Ungureanu C. (eds.) Law, State and Religion in the New Europe: Debate and Dilemmas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.160–191.

McCrea R. (2016) Secularism Before the Strasbourg Court: Abstract Constitutional Principles as a Basis for Limiting Rights. Modern Law Review, vol.79, no.4, pp.691–705.

McCrea R. (2017) The Consequences of Disaggregation and the Impossibility of a Third Way. In: Laborde C., Bardon A. (eds.) Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.69–82.

Merdjanova I. (2013) Rediscovering the Umma, Muslims in the Balkans between Nationalism and Transnationalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Palomino R. (2011) Religion and Neutrality, Myth, Principle and Meaning. Brigham Young University Law Review, no.3, pp.657–690.

Pin A. (2014) Does Europe Need Neutrality? The Old Continent in Search of Identity. Brigham Young University Law Review, no.3, pp.605–633.

Ringelheim J. (2012) Rights, Religions and the Public Sphere: The European Court of Human Rights in Search of a Theory. In: Zucca L., Ungureanu C. (eds.) Law, State and Religion in the New Europe. Debate and Dilemmas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.283–306.

Ringelheim J. (2017) State Religious Neutrality as a Common European Standard? Reappraising the European Court of Human Rights Approach. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, vol.6, no.1, pp.24–47.

Rosenfeld M., Mancini S. (eds.) (2018) The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sajó A. (2008) Preliminaries to Concept of Constitutional Secularism. International Journal of Constitutional Law, vol.6, no.3–4, pp.605–629.

Schabas W.A. (2015) The European Convention on Human Rights: A Commentary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Scharffs B.G. (2017) Kokkinakis and the Narratives of Proper and Improper Proselytizing. Religion & Human Rights, vol.12, nos.2–3, pp.99–111.

Temperman J. (2006) The Neutral State: Optional or Necessary?: A Triangular Analysis of State–Religion Relationships, Democratisation and Human Rights Compliance. Religion & Human Rights, vol.1, no.3, pp.269–303.

Temperman J. (2010) State–Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance, Leiden; Boston, MA: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Temperman J. (ed.) (2012) The Lautsi Papers: Multidisciplinary Reflections on Religious Symbols in the Public School Classroom, Leiden; Boston, MA: Martinus Nijjhof Publishers.

Troper M. (2014) Sovereignty and Laïcité. In: Mancini S., Rosenfeld M. (eds.) Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.146–159.

Tulkens F. (2009) The European Convention on Human Rights and Church-State Relations: Pluralism vs. Pluralism. Cardozo Law Review, vol.30, no.6, pp.2575–2592.

Urbinati N. (2016) The Context of Secularism: A Critical Appraisal of the Post-secular Argument. In: Rosenfeld M., Mancini S. (eds.) Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.14–32.

Vauchez S.H. (2017) Is French laïcitè Still Liberal? The Republican Project under Pressure (2004–2015). Human Rights Law Review, vol.17, no.1, pp.285–312.

Issue articles