EU SHECHITA CASE
THE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE FILED A FAVORABLE OPINION IN THE EU KOSHER SHECHITA CASE
On 10 September 2020, a favorable opinion was submitted by the Advocate General in the framework of the Kosher Shechita case which is pending with the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The opinion concludes – as was argued by the IJL in its amicus curiae brief – that Member States are not permitted to adopt rules which provide for a prohibition of the slaughter of animals without stunning (including reversible stunning). That also applies to the slaughter carried out in the context of a religious rite. The opinion further found that the fact that Kosher meat can be obtained from another Member State does not in itself allow the adoption of such rules.Click here to read the Opinion of the Advocate General
The IJL submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union its position with respect to the Belgian ban on Kosher Shechita
The ban, which was imposed in both the Flemish and the Walloon Regions, prohibits slaughtering without pre-stunning and amounts to a de jure and de facto outlawing of religious slaughtering
On 29 June 2020, the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (“IJL”) filed with the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court”) an Amicus Curiae Brief in the framework of Case C-336/19.
The Case raises the question of whether certain decrees of the Flemish and Walloon Regions (in Belgium) which prohibits slaughter without pre-stunning even in the context of slaughter conducted during a religious right (including the Jewish Shechita), is compatible with EU law.
The Brief – authored by Professor Joseph Weiler – advocates against the imposition of an outright ban on Jewish (and Muslim) religious slaughter, while acknowledging the need for lesser restrictive measures to ameliorate and minimise animals’ suffering.
The Brief explains that to forbid a community of faith to prepare their food in accordance with their religious obligations is a prima facie violation of the freedom of religion, and that the requirement of pre-stunning is discriminatory in nature, since it does not affect the majority of the citizens of the European Union but rather only specific minority communities.
Advocate Meir Linzen, President of the IJL, explained that the ban may have a detrimental effect on the relevant Jewish communities, and will undermine Jewish life in all Member States, which will impose such a ban.
The IJL urges the Court to rule that the ban is incompatible with EU law, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court is due to hear the case on 8 July 2020.