Inadmissibility decision concerning Spain

Human Rights building

The ECHR has decided to declare the application in the case of Asociación de Abogados Cristianos v. Spain inadmissible.

The case concerned an artwork which was part of an exhibition financed by the local authorities in Pamplona. The use of consecrated pieces of the host in the artwork sparked public outrage and led the applicant association to lodge a criminal complaint against both the artist and a local councillor.

The Court rejected the applicant association’s first complaint, concerning the authorities’ duty of religious neutrality, because it had not used all the legal avenues available at national level in that regard. In particular, instead of lodging a criminal complaint, the association could have challenged the local authorities’ refusal to cancel the exhibition by bringing contentious administrative proceedings. The association’s second complaint, concerning the refusal to prosecute, was rejected as manifestly ill-founded. There was nothing arbitrary in the national judicial authorities’ conclusion that the acts in question had not amounted to a criminal offence.

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