Subject and Keywords:
In the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights for a long time the issue of conscientious objection in case of refusal to undertake military service was considered on the basis of Art. 4 of the Convention, which stipulates the prohibition of forced labor which, however, excluded military service from its scope. For this reason, many complaints were deemed inadmissible and the rights of conscientious objectors were not properly protected. In the Bayatyan case for the first time the Court considered the conscientious objection on the grounds of Art. 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), providing protection of individuals who invoke the conscience clause. The Court set a new standard for Europe – even for the countries where the right to conscientious objection to military service was not regulated or even was prohibited.