Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 17 (2011) / Issue 1

Carlo Panara, 'Lautsi v. Italy: The Display of Religious Symbols by the State' (2011) 17 European Public Law, Issue 1, pp. 139–168


In the Lautsi v. Italy (hereinafter ‘ Lautsi’) case, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) upheld the appeal of a mother who sought the removal of the crucifix from the classrooms of the public school attended by her two children. This case has opened a broad debate on the display of religious symbols in public establishments and, more generally, on the role of religion in contemporary society. This paper analyses the debate around the display of crucifixes in public establishments in Italy and in other European countries and examines the potential impact of the decision. The basic thrust is that an increasingly multicultural and multi-religious society needs a secular and neutral state. The decision of the European Court in Lautsi goes in the right direction.

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ISSN: 1354-3725
ID: EURO2011010