• From Grandrath to Bayatyan: the development of European jurisprudence on conscientious objection to military service

      Yiannaros, Andreas C. (Intersentia, 2017-03-31)
      The 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.