Friday, December 02, 2016

European Court Finds Lack of Fair Hearing For Church Over Expropriation

In Lupeni Greek Catholic Parish v. Romania, (ECHR, Nov. 29, 2016), the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that a Greek Catholic church had been denied a fair hearing in Romania on its claim for compensation for the expropriation by Romania's former Communist government of the church's property followed by its transfer to the Greek Orthodox Church. The court said in part:
The protection of minorities is almost always unpopular and the protection of religious minorities is even more so. Europe has a long history of religious majorities disregarding the rights of religious minorities. This is an area where present-day democratic standards oblige a majority to show restraint, for the sake of respecting minorities. Unfortunately this case shows that States are often reluctant to undo the injustice committed to religious minorities when the interest of the religious majority is at stake.
Law & Religion UK has an extensive discussion of the case.