ECtHR confirms Holy See’s jurisdictional immunity in civil actions
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered today its judgment in J.C. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 11625/17), holding that there had been no violation of Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights in the dismissal of a civil action before Belgian courts on the grounds of the Holy See’s jurisdictional immunity.
The proceedings arose after 24 applicants who had allegedly suffered sexual abuse during their childhood brought an action for compensation in a civil court against the Holy See and a number of Catholic organisations and Catholic Church leaders in Belgium. The applicants claimed that the defendants should be jointly and severally liable to pay compensation, but the court of first instance dec