Logo law and pluralism
Logo Università Bicocca

Blumberg v. Germany, dec., No. 14618/03, ECtHR (Fifth Section), 18 March 2008


Conscientious objection not motivated by a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR 
Art. 2, Prot. No. 1 ECHR


1. Article 9 ECHR does not always guarantee the right to behave in the public sphere in a way which is dictated by one’s personal beliefs and the term “practice” does not cover each act which is motivated or influenced by one’s beliefs. 

2. The term “beliefs” in Article 9 ECHR, like the term “(philosophical) convictions” in Article 2 of Protocol no. 1, denotes views that attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance. 
(In the instant case, the applicant, a doctor of the Bavarian health insurance, refused to conduct a medical examination of an apprentice with a view to her being employed by a client health insurance company. He feared a “possible bias” - without specifying the reasons behind it - that could lead to difficulties if he had to work with the apprentice in the future. Following this refusal, he was dismissed. The Court found no violation of Art. 9 ECHR).