Article 20(2) of the un’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (iccpr) is an odd human rights clause. It provides that “[a]ny advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.” Accordingly, this provision does not appear to codify a fundamental right but rather a sui generis state obligation. The present article aims at providing a legal taxonomy of this international incitement clause, ultimately also answering the question as to whether, despite its unique formulation as speech prohibition, it contains a justiciable right to protection from incitement.
Arif A. Jamal and Jaclyn L. Neo
This essay introduces the Special Issue of the Journal. It discusses how changing religious demographics and heightened religious plurality are challenging existing thinking about, and patterns of, state-religion relations and the nature of the ‘secular state’. The essay briefly surveys each of the papers in the Special Issue and highlights that one of the key lessons that emerges from the papers is the importance of context. As the contexts evolve, fresh thinking and new arrangements would be needed.
This contribution considers the impact of Kokkinakis at the grassroots level: to what extent do grassroots level actors know about the case of Kokkinakis and see in it an opportunity to further their own religion-related rights claims? To what extent has the case inspired social actors such as rights activists, cause lawyers or faith group members to mobilise for their own religion-related rights, whether in court, in the halls of government, or in the streets? Has Kokkinakis left a mark on the individual citizen with concerns to do with religious freedoms? These questions are addressed through empirical research conducted on the indirect effects of ECtHR religion-related case law, including Kokkinakis, at the grassroots level in Greece.
Whereas the bulk of Article 2 Protocol i cases concerns aspects of the public-school framework and curriculum, this article explores Convention rights in the realm of denominational schooling. It is outlined that the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court generally strongly supports the rights of parents not to send their child to state-organized schools and hence to establish or avail of private, denominational schooling instead. In this area of private schooling, the Strasbourg Court could build a stronger body of jurisprudence against discriminatory funding policies. The Court is right in seeing no state duty to fund denominational schools, but where intricate funding policies serve to privilege the state or dominant religion and their schools, at the disadvantage of minority religion schools, the Court should come into action.
Sophie van Bijsterveld
Dissenting opinions in European Court of Human Rights judgments are a familiar phenomenon. Nevertheless, they receive little or no systematic attention. This essay presents a typology of dissenting opinions in religion cases in the Grand Chamber of the European Court. It identifies patterns of dividing lines within Grand Chamber decisions in religion cases and discusses these patterns.
Are L. Svendsen, Rainer O. Bless and Matthew K. Richards
Attempts by people of faith to persuade others to their beliefs can provoke conflicts—even violence—in communities intent on protecting their privacy and identity. Both advocates and targets claim the protection of competing human rights, which must be balanced. Voluntary codes of conduct offer a viable alternative to government regulation. This article evaluates twenty-one codes and identifies which have greatest potential for conflict-resolution. Effective codes balance competing rights consistent with international law norms, respect multiple traditions, and address a general audience. They motivate compliance, provide a platform for dialogue, and promote the pluralism necessary to freedom of conscience. In contrast, codes focused on a single faith’s or network’s own constituencies are less likely to prevent or resolve conflicts because they tend to advocate a sectarian view and sometimes violate international law. Like aggressive state regulations, these codes can perpetuate rather than prevent conflict.