Published on 28 November 2017

#News - CCOJB files lawsuit to overturn ban on religious slaughter

Belgian Jewish Community files lawsuit challenging ban on Kosher Slaughter // Lawsuit submitted by the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations (CCOJB), supported by the Lawfare Project, the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress // Lawsuit Submitted to Belgium’s Constitutional Court, Challenging Law Passed by Walloon Parliament in May 2017 // Lawsuit Against Similar Ban in Flanders to Follow in the New Year.

Published by European Jewish Congress (EJC), November 28, 2017

Press Release, November 28, 2017

The Belgian Jewish Community has filed a lawsuit challenging a law passed in May by the parliament of the Walloon region banning the kosher slaughter of animals. The lawsuit was submitted today to Belgium’s Constitutional Court by the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations (CCOJB), the umbrella organization that acts as the branch of the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress. The lawsuit is being supported by The Lawfare Project, a Legal Think Tank and Civil Rights litigation fund which files legal cases against anti-Jewish discrimination around the world.

The Parliaments of both the Wallonia and Flanders regions, the two largest in Belgium, passed laws earlier this year designed to outlaw religious slaughter, which includes kosher and halal slaughter. In May, the Wallonia parliament voted unanimously to ban the traditional methods of religious slaughter. The parliament in Flanders, where half of Belgium’s Jews live and where the majority of Belgium’s kosher facilities provide meat for Jewish communities in Belgium and beyond, followed suit in July. The CCOJB and The Lawfare Project may file a similar lawsuit against the Flanders legislation early in 2018.  

If the legislation is not annulled prior to coming into force in 2019 it would undermine the ability of minority faith communities to practice central tenets of their religions in Belgium. Such legislation violates harmonized EU law on this issue, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Belgian Constitution itself, all of which guarantee freedom of religion.

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