European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Commentary on and links to religion or atheism in the media
peter63
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European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by peter63 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:14 pm

Good news. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the Italian Government has already announced that it will appeal against the ruling.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... rooms.html
The landmark judgment could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in state-run schools.
A panel of seven judges in Strasbourg said the display of Christian crosses, which is common but not mandatory in Italian schools, violated the principle of secular education and might be "disturbing" for children from other faiths.
It upheld a complaint filed by Soile Lautsi, a Finnish woman with Italian citizenship, who complained that her children had to attend a state school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every classroom.
The court awarded her 5,000 euros (£4,470) in "moral damages", which will have to be paid by the Italian government.
It stopped short of ordering authorities to remove crucifixes from all state-run schools and the long-term implications of the ruling were unclear.
"The presence of the crucifix could be ... disturbing for pupils who practised other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities," the court said in its ruling.
The judgment sparked anger in predominantly Catholic Italy, with ministers from Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government saying the crucifix was an integral part of national culture and identity.
A member of the governing People of Freedom party, Antonio Mazzocchi, said that Europe was in danger of forgetting its Christian heritage.
The agriculture minister, Luca Zaia, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League, a key ally in Mr Berlusconi's bloc, called the judgment "shameful".
The foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said it was an attack on Italy's Christian identity and that the government would appeal the decision.
"At a time when we're trying to bring religions closer together, this is a blow to Christianity," he said.
The head of the Italian bishops' intercultural dialogue commission, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, said the court's decision was "irresponsible".
“God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed” Luis Buñuel. Quoted in The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
Marks
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by Marks » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:34 pm

http://humanrightsinireland.wordpress.c ... -the-echr/

This is a significant judgement. The above site gives more information on it.
Italy is in breach of Article II of Protocol 1 (the right to education).
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by Hemingway » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:10 am

We defo havent heard the last of this one. It'll rumble on for some time methinks.
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by FXR » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:13 am

Can anyone imagine that happening here? I don't know why the bloody and pessimistic image of an anorexic nailed to two planks should be considered upsetting to "children of other religions" instead of all children as if some children automatically absorb their parent’s superstitions at birth. A violent image is a violent image and no violent image belongs in a school where that image is used to promote the useless idea of voluntary suffering.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by anadub25 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:21 pm

peter63 wrote: "The presence of the crucifix could be ... disturbing for pupils who practised other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities,"
Why dont they spit it out - we're all a bit scared of the muslims!
"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."

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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by adamd164 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:43 pm

Here is an audio of Jason Spratt from Atheist Ireland debating secular education with IONA's David Quinn in light of this ruling on "The Last Word" this evening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLSFx5q7-Fw
Marks
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by Marks » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:42 pm

http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view. ... 6DEA398649

The above link is the press release from the European Court of Human Rights on Lautsi V Italy.
The complete judgement is not yet available in English but the actual wording of the judgement will be of particular interest. The Court would never tell Italy to remove the crosses as that is not how the Court works. By ratifying the European Convention Italy has agreed to grant to all citizens the rights under the European Convention. The European Court has now decided that Soile Lautsi has been deprived of her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Education is a Human Right (Article II of Protocol 1) and the right to Freedom of Conscience (Article 9). It is up to Italy how they solve the problem. They have appealed but if they lose the appeal it is Italy who will have to decide how it intends to ensure that Atheists and Religious minorities have their rights under the European Convention respected in the education system in Italy. It is Italy who will ultimately have to make the decision to either remove the crosses or find another solution as otherwise they will be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ireland has ratified the European Convention so we also have agreed to grant to all citizens the rights enshrined in the Convention. That most schools are denominational and basically regarded as private by our courts would not make a difference to the European Court as a State cannot absolve itself of its responsibility to educate by delegating that responsibility to private bodies and institutions. See (Costello Roberts v UK 1993 ECHR).

Quote
“Secondly, in the United Kingdom, independent schools co-exist with a system of public education. The fundamental right of everyone to education is a right guaranteed equally to pupils in State and independent schools, no distinction being made between the two (see, mutatis mutandis, the above-mentioned Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen judgment, Series A no. 23, p. 24, para. 50).
Thirdly, the Court agrees with the applicant that the State cannot absolve itself from responsibility by delegating its obligations to private bodies or individuals (see, mutatis mutandis, the Van der Mussele v. Belgium judgment of 23 November 1983, Series A no. 70, pp. 14-15, paras. 28-30). Para 50). “

And again

“(b) It is on to the fundamental right to education that is grafted the right of parents to respect for their religious and philosophical convictions, and the first sentence does not distinguish, any more than the second, between State and private teaching. The second sentence of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 aims in short at safeguarding the possibility of pluralism in education which possibility is essential for the preservation of the “democratic society” as conceived by the Convention. In view of the power of the modern State, it is above all through State teaching that this aim must be realised “(see Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen, cited above, pp. 24-25, § 50).(Folgero v Norway 2007)

“Does not distinguish between State and Private teaching” are the key words. So if one has no choice but to send children to denominational schools because there are no state schools it is possible to engage the state at the European Court under Article II of Protocol 1 and Article 9 of the Convention with regard to the display of crosses in denominational schools. I could think of a few more to throw in a well with regard to ethos. However getting to the European Court is a major problem.
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by ctr » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:35 am

wow I did not realise that this could have such ramifications here.

Excellent!
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Marks
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by Marks » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:11 pm

The European Court of Human Rights really will not care whether the Irish State 'provide education' or 'provide FOR education' as the State is still responsible as education is a human right under Article II of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. By ratifying the Convention Ireland has agreed to grant to all its citizens the rights guaranteed under the Convention. Article II of Protocol 1 does not stand alone, the European Court interprets it with Article 8 (Respect for private & Family life), 9 (Freedom of Conscience) and 10 (Freedom of Expression) of the Convention. In the Lautsi case they interpreted Article II of Protocol 1 with Article 9 the Right to Freedom of Conscience.

"(a) The two sentences of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 must be interpreted not only in the light of each other but also, in particular of Articles 8,9 and 10 of the Convention (see Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen, cited above p. 26 & 52"

Folgero v Norway 29.06.2007 ECHR

The Lautsi case should be on the Council of Europe website in english soon. It is the judgement and exactly what arguments were made that will be of particular interest.
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Re: European Court bans crucifixes in Italy's classrooms

Post by lostexpectation » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:06 pm

so what's the punishment for breaching the act
test
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