In Kokkinakis v. Greece, the plaintiff petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to overturn unlawful legislation that limited proselytism.258 The Court noted that Article 9 is in outlining the general principles underlying the Article 9 guarantee of religious freedom in the European convention
with its spiritual dimension, the most vital elements that get in order to make the identity up of believers and their conception of life, however it is additionally a valuable asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics therefore the unconcerned. The pluralism indissociable from the democratic society, which includes been dearly won on the centuries, is dependent upon it.259
Here, the Court ended up being clear that a robust feeling of spiritual freedom also includes both believers and non-believers
In this sense, freedom of faith inside a society that is democratic be divided from a concomitant freedom from faith. Where patriarchal interpretations are presented as “the” holdings of the faith that is particular offered governmental security during the sacrifice of other similarly legitimate interpretations, they could be unduly foisted upon people who, if provided the possibility to make a totally free and informed decision, would choose not to ever be governed by them.
As the Court in Kokkinakis finally held that the impugned legislation unjustifiably violated Article 9 due to the overly scope that is broad it preliminarily accepted the Greek federal government’s argument that such legislation could be justified if limited to “improper proselytism.”260 The Greek government had argued that being a democratic State, it had to “ensure the peaceful satisfaction of most those living on its territory. in protecting the legislation” 261 To this end, the us government insisted that “if it had been perhaps not vigilant to safeguard an individual’s spiritual values and dignity from tries to influence them by immoral and deceitful means,” the “protection for the legal rights and freedoms of other people” exception outlined in Article 9(2) of this European Convention “would in practice be rendered wholly nugatory.” 262 Although the legislation it self had been considered unduly broad, the Court discovered that the federal government’s stated function ended up being “a legitimate aim under Article 9(2) for the security associated with liberties and freedoms of other people.” 263