Religious Neutrality at Europe's Highest Courts: Shifting Strategies

Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2022, 1–24

Faculty of Laws University College London Law Research Paper No. 21/2022

25 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2022

See all articles by Myriam Hunter-Henin

Myriam Hunter-Henin

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: November 9, 2022

Abstract

This article demonstrates that recent manifestations of religious neutrality in the caselaw of Europe’s highest courts amount to ‘shifting strategies’, which prompt systematic and excessive judicial restraint from European supranational courts. It argues that these shifting strategies end up (wrongly) framing the visibility of religion as the problem to be solved. It suggests an alternative approach, under which neutrality would only have a derivative and conditional value, to be established and assessed by European courts. The role of European courts would then no longer be to display (allegedly neutral) judicial restraint but to provide a democratic forum in which equality and liberty interests may be constantly confronted and revisited as new contestations emerge.

Keywords: Religious neutrality, impartiality, margin of appreciation, judicial restraint, Achbita, WABE and MH Müller Handel

JEL Classification: K00, K4, K31

Suggested Citation

Hunter-Henin, Myriam Caroline, Religious Neutrality at Europe's Highest Courts: Shifting Strategies (November 9, 2022). Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2022, 1–24, Faculty of Laws University College London Law Research Paper No. 21/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4282286

Myriam Caroline Hunter-Henin (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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