III European Union

Date01 December 1995
Publication Date01 December 1995
DOI10.1177/016934419501300407
AuthorJohannes van der Klaauw
SubjectPart B: Human Rights News
NQHR
411995
Christians who are Jehovah's witnesses'. On 28 June 1983 the applicants applied to the
Minister
of
Education and Religious Affairs for permission to inaugurate their place
of
worship. On 10 December 1984, the ministry informed them that their application was
being considered. This procedure has still not been completed. On 3March 1986, the
public prosecutor's office in Heraklion instituted criminal proceedings against the
applicants on the basis of section 1
of
Law no. 136/1938, as amended by Law no.
1672/1939, on the ground that the applicants had established
'a
place
of
worship for
religious meetings and ceremonies
of
members
(oo.)
of
the Jehovah's Witnesses
denomination
(oO.)
without permission from the recognised ecclesiastical authorities andthe
Minister
of
Education and Religious Affairs.' On 6 October 1987, the Criminal Court
acquitted the applicants on the ground that
'in
the absence
of
any acts
of
proselytism,
members
of
any faith are free to meet even where the meeting takes place without
permission'. On 8October 1987, however, the Heraklion public prosecutor's office
appealed against that judgment, and on 15 February 1990 it secured the applicant's
conviction. The applicants appealed on points
of
law, arguing in particular that section 1
of the aforementioned Law and the obligation to seek permission to open their place
of
worship were contrary to Article 13of the Greek Constitution and Article 9 ECHR, which
both guaranteed the right to freedom of religion and worship. On 19 March 1991, the
Court
of
Cassationdismissed the appeal, referring to the limits
of
the right to freedom
of
worship and relying on paragraph 2 of Article 9 ECHR. In a dissenting opinion, one
of
the judges held that the Court
of
Cassation should have set aside the judgment of the court
below as the applicants could not be found guilty
of
any punishable offence since section
I
of
the Law contravened Article 13
of
the Constitution. In their application to the
Commission, the applicants alleged a violation
of
Article 9 ECRR. In its report the
Commission expressed the unanimous opinion that there had been a violation of that
provision.
III
EUROPEAN
UNION
Johannes van del' Klaauw
Commission
Report
on its Activities to
Promote
Human
Rights
and
Democracy
(1994)
On 12 July 1995, the Commission published a report on its implementation
of
the budget
lines for the promotion of democracy and human rights. IThe report, prepared by the
Commission's Inter-service Group on Human Rights, outlines the principles underlying
the Community's activities in this field, the instruments, budget lines and other financial
resources available, as well as the procedure for financing activities in the field of
democracy and
human
rights.
The underlying principles for the Community's action in this area are those adopted
by the international community and laid down in international standards, as well as those
developed on a regional basis, notably by the Council of Europe and the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe. The European Union itself has also adopted certain
policy principles and guidelines such as those included in the Treaty on European Union
or in Council Resolutions, and regularly referred to in positions taken by the Union in
Commission Report on the Implementation of Actions to Promote Human Rights and Democracy 1994,
COM 9(5) 191 final, 12 July 1995.
458

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