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Chapter

Cover Harris, O'Boyle, and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights

12. Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion  

David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, Carla Buckley, and Peter Cumper

This chapter discusses Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers forms of both religious and non-religious belief. Few articles of the Convention have generated as much controversy as Article 9, from complaints about curbs on religious dress and displays of religious symbols to conflicts over faith at the workplace. In the past two decades, the Court has made important strides in formulating its own guidelines in relation to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Chapter

Cover Harris, O'Boyle, and Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights

12. Article 9: Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion  

David Harris, Michael O’boyle, Ed Bates, Carla M. Buckley, KreŠimir Kamber, ZoË Bryanston-Cross, Peter Cumper, and Heather Green

This chapter discusses Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers forms of both religious and non-religious belief. Few Articles of the Convention have generated as much controversy as Article 9, from complaints about curbs on religious dress and displays of religious symbols to conflicts over faith in the workplace. In the past three decades, the Court has made important strides in formulating its own guidelines in relation to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The chapter considers the restrictions on belief permitted by Article 9.

Book

Cover Human Rights Law Directions
Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Self-test questions and exam questions help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. Human Rights Law Directions has been written expressly to guide you through your study of human rights law, and to explain clearly and concisely the key areas of this fascinating subject. Combining academic quality with innovative learning features and online support, this is an ideal text for those studying human rights law for the first time. This fifth edition has been fully updated with key developments in human rights law, including: discussion, in so far as information allows, of proposed reform of the legal protection of human rights in the United Kingdom, post-‘Brexit’; the ECtHR case law on unlawful rendition; deportation and human rights; the impact of human rights on warfare and the condition of British troops abroad; the impact of Article 8 on abortion and assisted suicide; concerns over surveillance and communications data; the impact of human rights law on controversies over religious dress (such as the burqa ban in France); and possible infringements of rights by the legal response to Coronavirus.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

16. Article 9: freedom of thought, conscience, and religion  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter discusses Article 9, which establishes a general right to freedom of ‘thought, conscience, and religion’. The right to ‘manifest’ belief is ‘qualified’ in the sense that justified interferences are allowed. The duty of a court addressing an Article 9 issue is to decide whether there has been an interference, for which the state is responsible, that either restricts a person in holding religious beliefs or restricts the manifestation of belief. Manifestations of belief can be restricted if the restriction can be justified under the terms of Article 9(2). Important issues involving conscientious objection and the wearing of religious dress both in the context of employment and generally are considered in relation to justification. Article 9 can often be invoked in tandem with other Convention rights that also help to secure freedom of religion and belief.