Thursday, April 30, 2015

Will Nudity Become a Human Right in Europe?

This week online news sources reported a story about naturists in Spain who plan to appeal a decision by their country's highest court upholding closure of a nude beach.  The Court ruled that nudity is not a fundamental human right, but the group vows to take the issue to the European Union's panel in Strasbourg. You can read more at  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/23/catalan-naturist-club-nudists-castell-platjadaro-strasbourg

If the appeal is made, it will not be the first time that the EU has considered whether nudity is a basic human right. Just over a year ago Stephen Gough, Britain's Naked Rambler, appealed the many charges that have been levied against him for violating "ASBO" orders that forbid him from walking the countryside naked. Time magazine reported that story here: http://time.com/3543408/europe-court-naked-rambler/

The Naked Rambler's case did not go in his favor, but the challenge to the Spanish beach closure will no doubt involve some different fact patterns, circumstances, and asserted legal arguments.  It will be interesting to see the extent that Europe extends protections to naturists, and on what grounds.

For those of us in North America, the issue is important too.  While not legally binding here, such decisions play a key part in shaping public opinions... and may even drive the thinking of legal scholars.

Let's hope for an eventual right to bare arms and butts.