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Constantin-Lucian Spinu v. Romania, No. 29443/20, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 11 October 2022


Art 9 - Manifestation of religion - Ad hoc refusal, on account of Covid-19 crisis, to allow a prisoner to participate in the worship of his church outside the prison, having subsequently offered online religious assistance - Protection of the health and integrity of prisoners in a closed environment - Unforeseeable and unprecedented nature of the health crisis - Wide margin of appreciation - Reasonable efforts of the national authorities to counterbalance the restrictions - Taking into account by the prison authorities of the individual situation of the applicant and the evolution of the health crisis

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR


The Court considers that the changing health situation and its unpredictability must have posed a number of problems for the prison authorities in organising or supervising prisoners' religious activities. It is therefore of the opinion that a wide margin of appreciation must be accorded to them especially since, in the instant case, the applicant was seeking authorisation to leave the prison and to come into contact with people outside it.