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From Grandrath to Bayatyan: the development of European jurisprudence on conscientious objection to military serviceThe paper discusses the historical evolution of the legal right to conscientious objection to military service within the key institutions of the Council of Europe. It does so by examining the travaux preparatoire and legislative history of the European Convention on Human Rights, focusing on the intention of its drafters to incorporate into the scope of the treaty, a right to be exempted from military service on grounds of conscience. It further explores the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in order to identify whether these bodies intended to expand the scope of the Convention to cover objections of conscience to the undertaking of military duties as a constituent element of Article 9 ECHR, protecting the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Finally, the paper explores the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence on the question of conscientious objection to military service and assesses the importance and impact of Bayatyan v Armenia, a landmark decision by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights which finally placed objections of conscience to military service firmly within the scope of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Refusing to kill: selective conscientious objection and professional military dutiesThis paper explores the legal implications of objections of conscience against participation in particular military activities or conflicts (selective conscientious objection) as these are expressed by professional members of the armed forces. It does so by exploring how established human rights principles and norms related to the right of conscientious objection to military service may be extended to professional members of the armed forces seeking a discharge from military duties. The paper outlines applicable human rights standards relating to objections of conscience and compares how objections by professional members of the armed forces are dealt with by the judiciary in the United Kingdom and Germany. Finally, the paper uses empirical research data to map the recognition of selective conscientious objection to military duties in other member states of the Council of Europe that operate with fully professional armies and provides an extensive analysis of state practice identifying significant gaps, best practices and future challenges for the Council of Europe’s member states.