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Home > Workplace > Spain > 2004-06-02 - Constitutional Court, n. 101/2004

2004-06-02 - Constitutional Court, n. 101/2004

Workplace · Spain · Negative Freedom of religion

Negative freedom of religion of a policeman obliged to take part in a religious parade

Key facts of the case - The plaintiff, who is Deputy of the National Police Corps (Cuerpo Nacional de Policía), alleges that the performance of non-police duties in the parade of the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus the Rich (Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús el Rico) breaches the negative dimension of the right of religious freedom set forth in Article 16.1 of the Constitution. Furthermore, he requests that the connection between the National Police Corps of Malaga and the aforementioned Brotherhood be deemed null and void, as he understands that it violates the a-confessional nature of the State of Spain.
The defendant argues both absence of grounds for the latter request, and lack of breach of any fundamental right in the performance of police duties meant for the insurance of civil security. However, this reasoning is not shared by the Attorney, who deems that the right of religious freedom alleged by the plaintiff has been violated.

Main reasoning of the court - The claim is partially upheld. The alleged negative dimension of the plaintiffs’ freedom of religion is deemed breached as a duty such as the one performed in this case is of a special nature, and its main target is not to insure public security, but to contribute to enhance the solemnity of a religious service.
The claim is rejected as regards other allegations.