This article suggests a signicant correlation between the notions of state neutrality and religious freedom. The absence of a considerable degree of state neutrality has a detrimental effect on human rights compliance. Under states which identify themselves strongly with a single religious denomination as well as under states which identify themselves negatively in relation to religion, there is no scope for human rights compliance. Both extreme types of state–religion identication are characterised by repression of all beliefs and manifestations thereof which do not correspond with the state sanctioned view on belief. This may be either the upholding of a specic religious denomination or of militant ideological secularism. Consequently, discrimination and marginalisation rather than compliance with the norms of freedom of religion and the promotion of non-discrimination comprise policy and practice under these regimes. Intermediate forms of state–religion afliation, i.e. types of identication in which the state is not drenched with the excluding ideals of a single denomination or with anti-religious sentiments, allow for a degree of democratic inclusion of religious difference and of religious tolerance. The most substantial scope for full compliance, however, lies in the combination of democratic inclusion of people from different religions and the indispensable political commitment characterised as state neutrality with respect to all people. State neutrality refers to a regime of state–religion identi cation that can best be understood as 'accommodative non-partisanship'.
This report presents the proceedings of the 25th Anniversary Commemoration of the adoption of the 1981 UN Declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, which was held in Prague, Czech Republic on the 25th of November 2006. e focus of this event was on the merits of this Declaration as well as on the challenges as experienced over the past 25 years, the current key issues and obstacles as to its implementation and—whilst drawing on this document—the desired way forward: how to ensure compliance with everyone's right to freedom of religion or belief world-wide?
This article ventures into the contentious question of whether the denial of historical atrocities is per se removed from the protection of freedom of expression and the related question if states may under international human rights law proactively combat, through criminal legislation (‘memory laws’), such types of extreme speech. In so doing, the article compares and contrasts approaches employed by the un Human Rights Committee that monitors the un International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with that of the European Court of Human Rights, regional watchdog of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is argued that both approaches are shifting—though not quite in converging directions. The article makes a case for a contextual rather than exclusively content-based approach. An approach in which the question of ‘likelihood of harm being done to the targeted group’ is guiding, best resonates with the necessity principle.
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.
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.