This article discusses the application of the proportionality test which the Court of Session in Scotland and the European Court of Human Rights carried out when reviewing the limitations to worship and public gatherings imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article concludes that judges should not use the proportionality standard of review as an avenue to circumvent their duty of neutrality towards religious dogmas.


This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite as

Galimberti, M. & Pagotto, T. 2024, 'Man shall not live by bread alone? Freedom of worship, COVID-19 and the Courts', Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 26(1), pp. 41-55. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0956618X23000509

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Last updated: 29 March 2024
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