Colanders and Pastafarians again: Alm and Sager

In De Wilde v The Netherlands [2021] ECHR No 9476/19, which we discussed here, Ms De Wilde, a Pastafarian, had applied for a new driving licence and a new identity card with a picture of her wearing a colander on her head. When the domestic authorities refused her request, she took the matter to Strasbourg – where the ECtHR was equally unsympathetic, concluding that Pastafarianism was not a “religion” or “belief” within the meaning of Article 9, that Article 9 could not apply to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or its followers, and that the complaint was incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention.

The Court has recently returned to the matter in two judgments: Alm v Austria [2022] ECHR Application no. 20921/21 and Sager and Others v Austria [2022] ECHR Application no. 61827/19. Continue reading