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2009-04-18 - Council of State, a.s.b.l. Mission prophétique La grâce, n. 192.404

Public space · Belgium · Place of worship

A public injunction to close a place of worship for safety reasons does not prevent the religious group to find another one

Key facts of the case - Litigation related to an oral decision ordering sealing on the doors of a church (procedure of extreme urgency, application for suspension).

Main reasoning of the court - The applicant association acts against a surprise-decision of a Belgian municipality ordering the sealing of the doors of a church without warning the leaders of the church. To act before the Belgian Council of State and ask for the suspension of an administrative decision, Belgian law requires serious means justifying the future repeal of the decision and the risk of a serious damage difficult to repair in case of immediate execution of the decision.
The applicant has therefore to demonstrate that she incurs the risk personally and directly. In this case, however, the applicant does not maintain or establish the impossibility to find another place to assure the religious worship: she does not prove the degree of gravity required by law. Accordingly the application is dismissed without ruling on admissibility.