Hautanemi v Sweden: ECHR 1996

The applicants were members of a parish of the Church of Sweden who complained of a violation of article 9 of the Convention because the Assembly of the Church of Sweden had prohibited the use of the liturgy of the Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran Church in their parish.
Held: At the relevant time the Church of Sweden and its member parishes were to be regarded as corporations of public law. Since these religious bodies cannot be considered to have been exercising governmental powers, the Church of Sweden and notably the applicant parish can nevertheless be regarded as ‘non-governmental organisations’ within the meaning of article 25(1). Having held that, as members of the parish, the applicants could be regarded as victims in terms of article 25(1), the Commission added, ‘The Commission has just found that, for the purposes of article 25 of the Convention, the Church of Sweden and its member parishes are to be regarded as ‘non-governmental organisations’. It follows that the respondent state cannot be held responsible for the alleged violation of the applicants’ freedom of religion resulting from the decision of the Church Assembly . . There has thus been no State interference with that freedom.’


(1996) 22 EHRR CD 155

Cited by:

CitedParochial Church Council of the Parish of Aston Cantlow and Wilmcote with Billesley, Warwickshire v Wallbank and another HL 26-Jun-2003
Parish Councils are Hybrid Public Authorities
The owners of glebe land were called upon as lay rectors to contribute to the cost of repairs to the local church. They argued that the claim was unlawful by section 6 of the 1998 Act as an act by a public authority incompatible with a Convention . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Ecclesiastical, Human Rights

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.184052