European Court of Human Rights

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In a new judgement of 20 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found a violation of Article 9 (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention of Human Rights, in the case of an Armenian conscientious objector from Nagorno-Karabakh who had been sentenced and imprisoned for refusing to perform military service.

Since the 1950s, the right to conscientious objection to military service in international human rights law has excited the interest of both non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations in a variety of contexts. This book examines the subject, beginning with an exploration of the concept of conscience and its evolution with a view toward understanding the meaning and potential scope of the right to conscientious objection from a legal perspective. It also describes the different categories into which conscientious objectors can be divided, explain the differences between these categories, and investigate how these differences are interpreted at national and international levels. It then investigates the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in international human rights law. In this regard, this book deeply analyzes human rights law at both the international and regional level, examining UN, European, and Inter-American mechanisms.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riLHRtZ4Biw width:400 height:300]

IFOR representiative Derek Brett gives an introduction to the status of conscientious objection in human rights law.

With thanks to Paul at Fourman Films for this: http://www.youtube.com/user/fourmanfilms

The series of jurisprudence by international bodies in relation to conscientious objection in Turkey continued in the last months. Following the recent judgements of the European Court of Human Rights in cases of conscientious objectors from Turkey - Demirtaş v. Turkey from 17 January 2012 and Erçep v. Turkey from 22 November 2011, the Human Rights Committee published its views on the case of Turkish conscientious objectors Cenk Atasoy and Arda Sarkut in June.

Following the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Bayatyan v Armenia from July 2011, in which the European Court of Human Rights for the first time recognised the right to conscientious objection as a right recognised under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see CO-Update No 67, August 2011), several chambers of the European Court have no consolidated this new jurisprudence of the Court.

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