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Editor's blog | Fit for our century

The convention is a living instrument, and needs  individuals to use it if it is to be fit for the 21st century

14 January 2013

The right to religious freedom in article 9 was intended to respond to one of the 20th century’s greatest oppressions. Written in a style inherited from the 19th century, it is now being used in the 21th century as a weapon of active legal defence.

But public bodies and the courts are yet to draw clear lines around this right, a task made particularly difficult where it conflicts with other rights protected under the convention.

In the Ladele case, for instance – one of the four in which the Strasbourg court will be handing down judgment tomorrow – the Court of Appeal found that Islington Council had not discriminate...

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