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2001-10-04 - Superior Court of Justice of Madrid, n. RJ 1020

Public space · Spain · Place of worship · Religious freedom

Control over safety conditions of a place of worship is not in breach of freedom of religion

Key facts of the case - A minority religious group (“Integral Christian Community”) applied for judicial review of a decision of the municipality on the closure of its centre.

Main reasoning of the court - The control over the opening of places of worship is submitted to administrative control in accordance with specific rules. The Court examined holds that municipal licenses are legitimate means to control the safety and hygienic conditions of a place of worship, including measures related to emergency exits. These safety conditions are requested from every worship place of every religious denomination. This does not imply any value judgment on the activities developed in those worship places and does not interfere with the religious freedom of the community. Control is meant to guarantee the protection of the people attending religious worship as well as the protection of the public interest.