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How is a Judicial Decision Made in Parental Religious Disputes? An analysis of determining factors in Dutch and European Court of Human Rights case law

Authors:

Jet Tigchelaar ,

Utrecht University School of Law, Institute of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Legal Theory
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Merel Jonker

Utrecht University School of Law, Molengraaff Institute for Private Law
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Abstract

In the last few decades courts have been confronted with a variety of cases concerning the effects of the religious views and practices of parents on their children. In the Netherlands, family law courts, for example, have had to decide on the choice between secular or religious schooling, on religious rituals like circumcision and baptism, and on the exposure of children to (non-)religious practices, when dealing with the contact arrangements. The case law of the European Court of Human Rights shows that family law courts in several other European countries have also had to rule on the impact of parents’ religious practices on their children in the context of parental rights, such as custody and contact rights. In this contribution we investigate the factors used by Dutch judges to assess the best interests of the child in cases on religious disputes between parents. Furthermore, we analyse whether the Dutch case law concerning this topic is in conformity with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Therefore, we present which types of factors can be found and in which way these factors are assessed in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.350
How to Cite: Tigchelaar, J. & Jonker, M., (2016). How is a Judicial Decision Made in Parental Religious Disputes? An analysis of determining factors in Dutch and European Court of Human Rights case law. Utrecht Law Review. 12(2), pp.24–40. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.350
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Published on 03 Jul 2016.
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