The Dogan et al. v. Turkey: a missed opportunity to recognise positive obligations as regards the freedom of religion

Marcella Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the Doğan et al. v. Turkey case (judgment of 26 April 2016, no. 62649/10), the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights decided on an application made by several Turkish citizens belonging to the Alevi faith. They complained not to be able to enjoy the same guarantees granted to citizens of the Sunni branch of Islam because national authorities do not acknowledge the cultural features of their faith. The Court found a breach of Art. 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights, alone and in conjunction with Art. 14. However, the decision is not immune from criticism in the part concerning the violation of the freedom of religion. Although the applicants made specific reference to positive obligations stemming from freedom of religion, the Court did not deal with this aspect, and displayed a degree of caution when defining the content of substantive positive obligations stemming from the right to freedom of religion. After summarizing the Court’s reasoning, this paper will analyse the case-law on positive obligations concerning the freedom of religion and will show its main problematic features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEUROPEAN PAPERS
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • European Court of Human Rights
  • freedom of religion

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