The Effects of Margin of Appreciation Doctrine on the European Court of Human Rights: Upholding Public Morality over Fundamental Rights

Itır Aladağ Görentaş
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The European Court of Human Rights’ (the Court, ECtHR) granting opportunity
to Contracting States to strike a balance between the public good
and the interests of the individuals is designated as “margin of appreciation
doctrine”. Unfortunately, the Court is facing harsh crtitism applying the
doctrine to especially cases concerning the violation of Article 9- freedom
of thought, conscience and religion and Article 10- freedom of expression,
since it seems to lack standards in application. In this study, the European
Court of Human Rights’ controversial application of margin of appreciation
doctrine to freedom of religion and freedom of expression will be addressed.
The discussion will seek to analyse the reasons behind the Court’s significant
discretion affording to Contracting States when Article 9 and Article 10
cases are in question.

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