Religious freedom, public service, Human Rights
It is first necessary that the public service is an apparent neutrality: it is the public service as a neutral place. It is useful to recall that the principle that worship is not a public service. But in any event, the neutrality of the public service places is required, either under the principle of secularism imposing the neutrality of the State or, more in accordance with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, in under the obligation to respect the freedom of religion of passive citizens.
It is essential that they do not feel the enslavement of a confession especially dedicated, in principle, to the general interest. Therefore, the necessary neutrality of public services may be displayed under the authority of the principle of secularism or, more broadly, in that of the guarantee of freedom of religion. Also, it is visible, despite differences in relations between Churches and States, a relative European consensus on this. But in general, the explicit reference to the principle of secularism is rare in the Strasbourg jurisprudence outside queries involving Turkey: the applicants in fact sometimes call this notion in their arguments. These include for example the cases of 16 December 1997, Catholic Church of Chania c / Greece and Dahlab c / Switzerland February 15, 2001.
[...] Manoussakis and others against Greece on 26 September 1996: Jehovah's Witnesses, proselytizing, use of a private room as a place of worship and religious celebrations, the conditions for the authorization of places of worship, a violation of Article 3. Hoffmann against Austria of 23 June 1993: freedom of religion, discrimination, parental authority, Jehovah's witnesses, respect for family life. 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. [...]
[...] The Court expressly admits indeed that the state can impose its agents neutral appearance in order to preserve the principle of secularism and neutrality of the public service". However, some authors believe, as Mr. Nicolas Chauvin, that the European Court of safeguarding the rights in the decision Dahlab c / Switzerland February while condemning the wearing of the Islamic headscarf by a teacher, such challenges the secularism it is designed in France. In this case, it is true that the European Court, to decide whether or not the prohibition of wearing a distinctive religious sign, analyzes the values expressed by the sign. [...]
[...] ] had found that the presence of a crucifix in rooms where clase was exempt public primary education did not meet the requirement of religious neutrality. " But apparently neither the Court nor the Commission before the end of its work, have had to rule on the specific question of neutrality appearance of public services "which can lead, overall, to conclude that this problem is not insoluble at national level and that states do not know Lay is saying reconcile their commitment with respect for the beliefs of others. [...]
[...] Thus, over the functioning of public service is the display moved from religious commitment of the relevant agent is targeted. As highlighted in the report Stasi, "the administration must, subject to political power, not only gives all the guarantees of neutrality but has also appearances that the user can not doubt his neutrality." To establish a "strict duty of neutrality" that would require any agent working on a public service, the Stasi report is based on the popular opinion of 3 May 2000 Miss Hammers even though it only concerns officials Education. [...]
[...] ii) Therefore, once the buildings and public places of service, it is logical that their representatives to be small. The public official, because he is the servant of the public service must be reflective: it must be a reflection of the neutrality of the public service. Of course, one can argue that in any case, at least in France, operation managed public service, and therefore its disruption alone solve the problem. It can also simply be appealed to the contractual waiver. [...]
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