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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Ian Leigh

Leigh, Ian (2019). Religious Adjudication and the European Convention on Human Rights. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 8(1): 1-27.

Author(s) from Durham


Despite extensive discussion of the desirability of recognition of religious law in Europe in recent years and widespread agreement among commentators that the precondition for any such recognition must be respect for human rights, there has little detailed analysis of what this would entail. This article aims to redress that omission by a systematic discussion of the compatibility of various forms of religious adjudication with the European Convention on Human Rights. It first clarifies the conceptual confusion surrounding the relationship between state law and religious adjudication, especially where voluntary non-binding adjudication is concerned. It then applies the relevant Convention jurisprudence (drawing especially on the recent Grand Chamber decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Molla Sali v Greece) to identify two relevant tests of compatibility. These are, respectively, the adequacy of judicial scrutiny and voluntariness or consent.