Lautsi judgment imminent

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will rule on 18 March on the so-called Lautsi case. In this case, a parent (Mrs Soile Lautsi) successfully claimed that Italy’s administrative law requiring display of the crucifix in every State school classroom violated the right of parents to “to ensure [their children’s education is] in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions” (Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the Convention, which the Court read in conjunction with Article 9). More details here.

The Court ruled in Mrs Lautsi’s favour, but Italy has appealed the case to the Grand Chamber, which is the ultimate court of appeal. If the judgment is upheld, it could have significant consequences for secularism in Europe. It could even impact on the NSS’s court challenge to council prayers.