ECtHR: request for an advisory opinion on the scope of Article 9
Protocol No. 16 ECHR allows the highest domestic courts and tribunals, as specified by those states parties that have ratified it, to request advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the ECHR or its Protocols.
A Grand Chamber panel has accepted a request from the Belgian Conseil d’État / Raad van State in relation to an application lodged by a security guard before its administrative division. The Ministry of the Interior issued ID cards authorising people to work as security guards and, in the applicant’s case, it withdrew his card. The Ministry’s grounds for doing so were that he was in contact with individuals associated with the “scientific” strand of Salafism and that he had been assessed as a “supporter of this ideology” by the intelligence services. The applicant alleges a breach of Article 9.
The question posed is:
“Does the mere fact of closeness to or membership of a religious movement that is considered by the competent administrative authorities, in view of its attributes, to present a medium- or long-term threat to the country, amount under…