"Perhaps you remember the E. S. v. Austria decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which, on October 25, shocked many people? The Strasbourg Court then, against all odds, validated the conviction of an Austrian lecturer for “denigrating” Muhammad by comparing his union with young Aisha to “paedophilia”.
The Court has given this judgment the status of “key case”, that is to say, a reference clarifying its future jurisprudence. I had the opportunity to draw attention to this decision and criticize it right here.
Yet this case has just undergone a new development. The applicant, Mrs Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, has asked the European Court to re-try the case in the Grand Chamber, that is to say before the most solemn formation of this Court. What is rare, she is supported in this process by the more than 55,000 signatories of a petition for the right to criticize Islam in Europe. This is an exceptional procedure which is accepted only in 5% of the cases, where the Court considers that is at stake “if the case raises a serious question affecting the interpretation or application of the Convention or the Protocols thereto or a serious issue of general importance”. This is clearly the case of E.S. v. Austria. The decision regarding the referral will be made soon. It is to be hoped that the Court will accept it, as there are several serious grounds for that."