The basis for departure of European standard under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights from equivalent universal standards

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Series Details No.5, 2001
Publication Date 2001
ISSN 1360-1326
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The original version of this article was presented at the Durham European Law Institute's Postgraduate Weekend Conference held between 13 - 15 July 2001.


This article considers the development and content of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights as contrasted with universal standards (making selective reference to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration, Article 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1981 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.) The social context in which European jurisprudence in the field of freedom of freedom of thought, conscience and religion has developed (largely secular but rooted in the historic influence of the Christian tradition) contrasts starkly with differing cultures, religions and political ideologies represented at the universal level. This leads to speculation whether Article 9 of the European Convention departs significantly from equivalent provisions in equivalent UN instruments. This article is therefore aimed at the conclusions to be drawn from a comparison of the practice of the Human Rights Committee, the European Commission on Human Rights and the European Court, in particular, the implications for Article 9 of the European Convention.

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