Judgment concerning Belgium

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13/02/24

In the case of Executief van de Moslims van België and Others v. Belgium the Court held that there had been no violation of freedom of religion and no violation of prohibition of discrimination.

The case concerned a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals without prior stunning in the Flemish and Walloon Regions of Belgium. The Court found in particular that by adopting the decrees in question, which had had the effect of banning the slaughter of animals without prior stunning in the Flemish and Walloon Regions, while allowing reversible stunning for ritual slaughter, the national authorities had not exceeded their discretion (“margin of appreciation”) in the case. The Court pointed out that this was the first time that it had addressed the question whether the protection of animal welfare could be linked to one of the aims under freedom of religion.

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Advisory opinion

19/02/24

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