A ‘Precious Asset’?

A ‘Precious Asset’?

Analyzing Religious Freedom Protections in Europe

In its first judgement on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Strasbourg Court held that freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is ‘a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned’. 

This book questions and elaborates on this statement, in the context of the current European legal setting. 

Part I offers a theoretical overview of why freedom of religion matters, and the European regulatory framework of this human right. 

Part II focuses on the challenges of interpreting and protecting religious freedom in the context of employment, education, media reporting, free speech, and freedom of association. Is ‘corporate neutrality’ a legitimate basis for suppressing individual manifestations of religion? Do public expressions of religious values constitute ‘hate speech’? To what extent and under what criteria can States limit the freedom of association of religious groups? Overall, is freedom of religion still indeed ‘a precious asset’ in Europe?

Adina Portaru is legal counsel for ADF International in Brussels, where she advocates for religious freedom. 

The ‘Conscience of Europe?’


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The ‘Conscience of Europe?’:

Navigating Shifting Tides at the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has the monumental task of protecting the most fundamental freedoms of more than 800 million citizens across 47 States. That’s a significant challenge given that the Court is asked to reconcile substantial disagreements between these States on controversial issues—and views on marriage, family, sanctity of life, and religious freedom are far less cohesive now than when the European Convention on Human Rights was drafted.

The ‘Conscience of Europe?’ examines the Court’s sometimes unpredictable jurisprudence in these increasingly controversial areas. With a palpable concern for human rights and religious freedom, the contributors provide an objective critique of the Court’s role, while exploring the changes recent years have brought to the complex legal landscape of Europe.

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‘This manual provides useful keys for unlocking the important, but complex, jurisprudence of Europe’s highest human rights court.’

-JUDGE BORREGO BORREGO, Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights

The Global Human Rights Landscape

The Global Human Rights Landscape: A Short Guide to Understanding the International Organizations and the Opportunities for Engagement

Throughout the world today, marriage is being redefined by national courts and governments, religious liberty is severely threatened, and abortion is routinely promoted as a ‘human right’. The international organizations that were established in the 20th century to protect fundamental human rights are instead in some areas being used to undermine them. This short guide seeks to answer three questions: What are the international and regional human rights institutions that exist around the world, why do they matter and how can individuals and organizations get involved?

Never Again


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Never Again

Legal Responses to a Broken Promise in the Middle East

Never Again presents a comprehensive analysis of the law on genocide. Drawing on evidence of genocide since 1948 and eyewitness accounts of ISIS/Daesh atrocities, Never Again demonstrates that the system designed to safeguard the vulnerable offers only illusory protection. With the rise of non-State actors, its capacity to oppose the most egregious violations of human rights is frighteningly limited.

Ewelina Ochab and ADF International provide a blueprint to address the faults in the Convention and to ensure the law on genocide adapts to respond to terrorism. It is time to renew the pledge to stand against genocide, in all its forms.


‘The author makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate on how to accomplish an internationally binding genocide recognition and possible ways to prosecute the perpetrators of this genocide against Christians and other vulnerable groups. The future of these groups in the Middle East is at stake and the time for action is now.’

-LARS ADAKTUSSON, Member of the European Parliament

‘The author cuts through complex issues which have divided countries around the world, in a way which challenges us to use all the legal tools available to secure accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the victims of this horrifying violence.’

-FIONA BRUCE, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom

‘This comprehensive book brings together debates that have been raging the world over on how best to respond to the rise of Daesh.’

-JÁN FIGEĽ, EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU