Since 1994, the European Court of Human Rights is being urged by most legal scholars and by some of its own members to scrutinize more closely domestic laws criminalizing the disparagement of religious doctrines, symbols, or divine persons. Critics see its lenient case-law as “reflecting an overcautious and timid conception” of free speech (J.-P. Costa, diss. in I.A. v. Turkey, 2005). Yet the Court sticks to its views : the exercise of freedom of expression includes “a duty to avoid as far as possible an expression that is, in regard to objects of veneration, gratuitously offensive to others and profane”. An explanation for its “overcautious and timid” stance is often looked for in the margin of appreciation doctrine. The explanation might run deeper, however. Relying on the Court’s latest rulings, we shall question whether “overcautiousness” is really what it at stake here.
Our 2020 Annual Conference was scheduled to be held at the University of Wrocław in Poland on July 9-11, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICON·S Executive Committee has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference to 2021. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland.
Procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference will follow in the months ahead.Join ICON•S