Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude
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Law 16/2001 of 22 June On Religious Freedom

Article 6 - Legal force

1. Freedom of conscience, religion and worship only grants the necessary restrictions to safeguard constitutionally protected rights or interests.

2. Freedom of conscience, religion and worship does not authorize criminal practice.

3. The limits of the right to conscientious objections trace the permitted conduct for the objector.

4. The law can regulate, whenever necessary, the exercise of freedom of conscience, religion and worship, without prejudice to the existence of this right.

5. The declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency cannot, in any event, affect freedom of conscience and religion.

Article 7 - Principle of tolerance

The conflicts between freedom of conscience, religion and worship from one person to another, or others, shall be settled with tolerance, in order to respect each person’s liberty as much as possible.

Article 12 - Conscientious objection

1. Freedom of conscience includes the right to object to the compliance of laws that contradict the imperative command of one's own conscience, within the limits of the rights and duties imposed by the Constitution and under the terms of the law that may regulate the exercise of the conscientious objection.

2. The commands of conscience that are considered as imperative are those whose infringement involves a serious offence to one's moral integrity and, consequently, make any other behaviour as not mandatory.

3. Conscientious objectors to military service, without excluding those who also invoke a conscientious objection to civil service, have the right to a civil service system, which respects the commands of their conscience, as long as it is compatible with the principle of equality.