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“Religious freedom before, during and after covid-19Between Europe and the Member States”. Introduzione alla prima sezione dello special issue - di Pietro Faraguna

ABASTRACT: This contribution introduces the special issue and focuses on the content of its first section, including contributions by Javier Martínez-Torrón (and related comments by Pierluigi Consorti), Maksymilian Hau, Valerio D’Alò, Giuseppina Scala and Matteo Giannelli.

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State, Religion and COVID-19: can Religious Freedom be Guaranteed in Exceptional Circumstances? - di Javier Martínez-Torrón

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. The coronavirus crisis: a tragedy and an opportunity - 2. Demanding governments’ accountability - 3. The conditions for legitimate restrictions on freedom of religion or belief - 4. The significance of equality and State’s neutrality for the protection of religious freedom - 5. Advantages of dialogue and cooperation between State and religion - 6. Support and doubts in the reaction of religious communities to governmental measures - 7. Final remarks.

ABASTRACT: This article explores peculiarities of the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to other health crisis experienced in the past. Each character is thoroughly examined in the article. The article focuses on four thematic areas: the legal regulation of the fight against coronavirus; the equality of treatment of religious freedom in relation to other fundamental rights; the cooperation between the State and religious communities; and the reactions of religious communities to governmental measures. The article argues that rather than raising new questions, COVD-19 has forced us to deal with familiar questions under unprecedented circumstances. In this frame, time has played a central role as a factor to be taken into account to scrutinize the legitimacy of measures introducing severe limitations to fundamental rights and freedoms. Finally, the article claims that from a legal perspective, the experience of the past months reveals that, especially in times of crisis, we need a scrupulous respect for the requirements of the rule of law, including a strict accountability and transparency from governments, and putting especial emphasis on the protection of fundamental rights, among which is freedom of religion or belief.

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Religious freedom before, during and after COVID-19 between Europe and the member states (a comment to Martinez-Torrón keynote address) - di Pierluigi Consorti

The key issue that emerges from the reports of Martínez-Torrón can be summarised in one question: “can religious freedom be guaranteed in exceptional circumstances?”.

The immediate answer is just: “yes, it can”. Clearly, we must be able to find proper ways to do that, while bearing in mind that it is not only a question of verifying whether it is possible to do so, because protecting religious freedom is not just an option among many others, but it is an unavoidable necessity.

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COVID-19 restrictions on religious worship:how to ensure effectiveness while respecting religious autonomy? - di Maksymilian Hau

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Introduction - 2. The existing model of Coronavirus restrictions and its impact on freedom of religion - 3. Towards a new model of restriction - 4. Advantages of the new model of restrictions - 5. Safeguarding compliance with restrictions - 6. Conclusions.

ABSTRACT: The topic of the article is to evaluate legal measures aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus that limited religious rights. The restrictions are assessed from the perspective of its effectiveness in preventing infection as well as its proportionality. The argument is that proportionality of the restrictions depends on their effectiveness, which in turn should be evaluated in the light of current pandemic situation, which includes vaccination level and scientific knowledge on coronavirus transmission. Consequently, two kinds of restrictions are distinguished: premises-oriented and activities-oriented. The former focuses mainly on the capacity of the church premises and not so much on the activity of the gathered, whereas the latter pays attention to the activates of the worshippers, including religious practices. Given the epidemiological effectiveness and the balance between protecting public health and religious freedom, activities-oriented restrictions are identified as a proper model of restrictions.

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Religious freedom during Covid-19 in Courts’ evaluation - di Valerio D’Alò

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Premise - 2. Italy: the relevance of the possibility of satisfying religious feeling through the alternatives offered by computer tools - 3. Germany: the non-belonging of the public exercise of worship to the Wesensgehalt of the right to religious freedom - 4. France: the suspension of religious ceremonies as a “serious and manifestly unlawful interference” with religious freedom - 5. United States of America: the participation in religious services as the “heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty” - 6. Concluding remarks.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to examine the position and the scope of the right to religious freedom in the case law of the national courts of some European and non-European countries, which are called upon to establish the legitimacy or otherwise of the balancing realized by the emergency regulation against Covid-19 between this interest and the equally important one of health. Such evaluations, essentially conducted by the judges using the principle of proportionality (as well as that of reasonableness), betray, in fact, in the phase of verification of the adequacy of the measure (so-called Verhälntismäßigkeit im engeren Sinne) the identification of the sphere of intangibility within the right, removed from further balancing. The systems taken into consideration for this purpose are the Italian, German, French and American ones, identified as significant expressions of different regimes of relations between the State and religious denominations, and, therefore, tending to a different overall attitude of the State towards religious experience.

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The Legal Culture of ‘Trust’ in the Swedish State by Religious Communities seen through the lens of the Pandemic - di Giuseppina Scala

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Introduction - 2. The Protection of Religious Freedom within the Swedish Constitutional Framework - 3. Sweden as a sui generis Legal Order within Europe during the Pandemic and the Specificity of the Measures adopted to counter Covid-19 - 4. Religious Freedom in Sweden during the Covid-19 Pandemic. A Subordinated Protection based on a Trust-Oriented Response - 5. The Legal Culture of ‘Trust’ in the State as the Grounds for the ‘Respectful Collaboration’ of Religious Communities.

ABSTRACT: The Covid pandemic has an enormous impact on individual rights. This is true also for the freedom to manifest one’s religion and Sweden represents an exceptional case study because the strategies the Swedish Government has adopted to limit the spread of the virus are distinct from those adopted in other European countries. The article will first analyse Swedish constitutional provisions with reference to the protection of religious freedom. Second, the article will offer some examples concerning the distinguishing features of the measures adopted by the Swedish Government. Third, attention will be dedicated to the analysis of the conduct of the Church of Sweden and of other religious communities with regard to the governmental decisions to counter Covid-19. The main argument of this article is that the concept of ‘Trust’ can both justify the responses of the religious communities and be used in the broader perspective of the upcoming legislative reforms regarding religious communities.

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Unilateralism and Bilateralism in the Restrictions on Worship in Italy During the Pandemic - di Matteo Giannelli

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Introduction - 2. The Italian constitutional framework and the principle of pactional bilaterality - 3. Restrictions on worship after the first phase of the pandemic - 4. The impact of the Protocols on the system of sources of Ecclesiastical law - 5. Conclusions. From bilateralism to “loyal cooperation”?

ABSTRACT: This contribution presents an investigation through the legal sources on which the restrictions on worship were imposed with the aim of verifying whether, and how, the normative management of the pandemic affected the bilateralism that characterizes relations between the State, the Catholic Church, and the various religious denominations. The main point of reference for the analysis will be the contents of the decree-laws, the Prime Ministerial Decrees (DPCM) and their annexes and the aim is to verify, in the context of the peculiar Italian ecclesiastical policy, the differences in treatment between the Catholic Church, religions with an agreement and religions without an agreement.

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“Religious freedom before, during and after covid-19 Between Europe and the Member States”: Introduzione alla seconda sezione dello special issue - di Pietro Faraguna

ABSTRACT: This contribution introduces the second section of the special issue, including contributions by Silvia Baldassarre, Simone Gianello and Paolo Zicchittu, Greta Pavesi (and related comments by Marco Croce and Marcello Toscano).

1 - La seconda sezione ospita tre contributi e due riflessioni a commento di tali contributi. I tre contributi sono accomunati da una metodologia vòlta a comparare l’esperienza vissuta da diversi ordinamenti per ciò che concerne l’impatto delle risposte alla crisi sanitaria sull’esercizio della libertà religiosa. Seppure gli ordinamenti selezionati dai vari Autori e dalle varie Autrici siano in parte diversi, così come lo sono gli esiti cui approdano le diverse analisi, vi sono altrettanti significativi punti di convergenza (uno sopra a tutti è l’inaspettata omogeneità di reazioni in ordinamenti ispirati a modelli di laicità tradizionalmente eterogenei).

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La libertà di culto ai tempi della pandemia da SARS-CoV-2. Standard di tutela in Italia, Francia e Belgio - di Silvia Baldassarre

SOMMARIO: 1. Premessa - 2. L’adozione delle misure di contenimento tra uguale tempestività e diversità procedurale - 3. Sostanziale uniformità dei provvedimenti - 4. Reazioni diverse alle misure restrittive da parte dei gruppi religiosi e delle associazioni filosofiche non confessionali - 5. Osservazioni conclusive.

Freedom of worship in the time of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Standard of protection in Italy, France and Belgium

ABSTRACT: the contribution intends to analyze, through a comparative key, the operational strategies adopted by the Belgian, French and Italian governments and the responses of religious groups affected by the restrictive measures of freedom of worship. The choice of these three States - Belgium, France, Italy - is motivated by the specificity of their models of relations between the State and the religious phenomenon; it allows a perspective view able to offer constructive food for thought. The analysis does not claim to be exhaustive, since the pandemic situation is, unfortunately, still evolving, which makes crisis management policies susceptible to sudden changes and adaptations.

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I “pericoli” della libertà religiosa al tempo della pandemia: un bilanciamento impossibile? Considerazioni comparate tra Italia e Francia - di Simone Gianello, Paolo Zicchittu

SOMMARIO: 1. Le ragioni di una comparazione - 2. Il caso italiano: una breve cronistoria normativa - 3. Primi appunti giurisprudenziali per un corretto “bilanciamento” - 4. Verso un accomodamento ragionevole - 5. Il paradigma francese e l’opera di bilanciamento del Conseil d’État - 6. Alcune considerazioni in termini di bilanciamento fra libertà di culto e tutela della salute - 7. Minime notazioni di sistema a mo’ di conclusione.

The "perils" of religious freedom at the time of the pandemic: an impossible balance? Comparative remarks between Italy and France

ABSTRACT: The essay aims to analyze the measures adopted in the Italian and French legal systems to regulate the exercise of religious freedom during the Covid-19 emergency. The analysis is conducted by observing the various regulatory provisions in the light of the balancing test and the principles of proportionality and reasonableness. This way, the paper will try to verify the overall strength of the constitutional system in times of crisis and the protection of fundamental rights during an emergency.

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