Customary International LawSymposium

Religious Freedom and Customary International Law

The struggle for religious freedom is the oldest of all movements for international human rights. Nonetheless, religious freedom remains the most problematic of all human rights. Despite treaty protections for religious rights stretching from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) to the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and beyond, the role of customary international law remains considerable. For example, how does one define such rights as the freedom to establish …

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Current Developments

Truth or dare?

Blasphemy and the flawed logic of E.S. v. Austria

On 25 October 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed down its decision in the case of E.S. v. Austria. The case had begun in the fall 2009 when the anonymized applicant E.S., who is a member of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), gave two seminars about Islam. On this occasion she claimed that Muhammad, the most important prophet of Islam, was not a perfect human because …

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Current Developments

A further “constitutionalization” to the detriment of the individual?

On the ECtHR’s stricter reading of the principle of subsidiarity regarding the admissibility of cases

When the ECtHR presented its most recent statistics at the beginning of this year, at first glance this looked like a huge success: The number of pending applications before the Court are down at 56’250, as compared to 79’750 in 2016. Looking back to 2011, when the Court docket had reached its peak with almost 152’000 pending applications, the difference is even more striking. Moreover, last year, the Court managed …

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Current Developments

Examining the Legal Anomalies Created by Inconsistencies between the European Convention on Human Rights and the Dayton Constitution

On 15th February, 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter Bosnia) applied for membership to the European Union. It has since seen little progress towards achieving this goal, which is heavily due to the incompatibilities of its Constitution with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter the Convention). While Bosnia’s application for EU membership has brought these incompatibilities to the fore, this issue dates back to …

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