June 2008 – Geneva
The members of the Strasbourg Consortium met in Geneva on 22 June 2008 to reinvigorate their efforts highlighting the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights affecting religious freedom or belief. As a result of this meeting, the Consortium plans to hold an annual conference in Strasbourg, France, where the European Court of Human Rights is located. The Court has treaty power to review the decisions of the highest state courts for most of Europe, including the former Eastern Bloc countries and Russia. The decisions of the Court affect over half a billion people, and have immense persuasive influence on the rest of the world. To date, however, little systematic scholarship has focused on the impact of its religious decisions. The Strasbourg Conference Consortium will attempt to fill this void by organizing scholars throughout Europe and the rest of the world to discuss both pending cases and prior decisions. The Center has organized a news and research website at www.strasbourgconsortium.org that will allow interested parties to locate information on cases and topics before the Court. “Because of the immense impact of the decisions by the European CHR, it is imperative that unbiased scholars provide academic input into the Court’s decisions. We hope that by maintaining a current website with information on pending cases, we’ll provide a forum that will be useful to the Court itself, and to others,” said Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr. We encourage input and comments about this new site so that it can be a useful resource for those interested and involved in law and religion issues.