The Kokkinakis and Larissis judgments
The Court states, unanimously, that the measure "a legitimate aim" as it was aimed at protecting public order. Thus, the Court recognizes that the States a margin of appreciation in assessing the existence and extent of the need for interference. However, the judges point out that this goes along with the control of the law and the decisions applying it. A proportional control is performed by the ECHR.
A criminal conviction is not proportionate to the legitimate aim nor necessary in a democratic society. The state does not have to make a judgment on the legitimacy of religious beliefs or the means used to express them.
In a Thlimmenos against Greece on 6 April 2000 which dealt with the refusal to appoint a person to a chartered accountant's post because of his criminal conviction for refusing to wear military uniform. "It belonged to the State to adopt appropriate exceptions to the provisions of national law which exclude the public service who have been convicted of a crime, and that when the insubordination led to the conviction and had basis for religious beliefs of the person concerned "(§§ 40-48).
[...] You just rearrange the standard and incorporate "appropriate exceptions". The State must thus operate "differentiations and reasonable accommodation." According to S. Van Drooghenbroeck, the proportionality requirement is based on the idea that the measure is necessary to the aim pursued and least restrictive of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention. Vergos With the judgment of 24 June 2004, dealing with the refusal of the authorities to erect a house of prayer for the "True Orthodox Christians" community (VOCs), the Court found no violation of article 9 because enactment is "apparently neutral". [...]
[...] In Kokkikanis judgment the Court distinguished between "Christian witness" and "improper proselytism". According to the judges, improper proselytism should be suppressed. The Greek Government states that the purpose of the condemnation of M.Kokkinakis was to protect a "known" religion and guarantee freedom of conscience and religion of the victim. The Court recognizes "the right to try to convince his neighbor." This is part of the freedom to change religion enshrined in the same article (Kokkinakis 31). The Greek courts pursued a legitimate aim. [...]
[...] On the other hand, implicitly, it is possible to understand that there is a form of non-improper proselytism. Judge Pettiti (in his partly concurring p.26) states that "proselytizing is related to freedom of religion; the believer must be able to communicate his faith and his belief in the religious sphere as in the philosophical field. " In paragraph 49, the Court states that the Greek courts do not sufficiently demonstrated the abusive nature of the means used by the accused. [...]
[...] Kokkinakis against Greece May 1993: freedom of expression, freedom of religion, discrimination, Jehovah's Witnesses, proselytizing. Khristiansko Sdruzhenie "Svidetelli lehova na" (Christian Association of jehovah witnesses) against Bulgaria on 9 March 1998 new registration of an association, Jehovah's witnesses, freedom of religion. Keller against Germany 4 March 1998: school administration, Scientology, respect for the religious convictions of parents. Tsavachidis against Greece of 28 October 1997: freedom of association, Jehovah's witnesses, legal opening of a place of worship. Efstratiou against Greece of 11 April 1996: religious beliefs, Jehovah's witnesses, teaching. [...]
[...] In a Thlimmenos against Greece on 6 April 2000 which dealt with the refusal to appoint a person to a chartered accountant's post because of his criminal conviction for refusing to wear military uniform. "It belonged to the State to adopt appropriate exceptions to the provisions of national law which exclude the public service who have been convicted of a crime, and that when the insubordination led to the conviction and had basis for religious beliefs of the person concerned 40-48). This is a crucial step in the evolution of the jurisprudence of the ECHR on non-discrimination. [...]
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