30 July 2013

The European Court of Human Rights, the Margin of Appreciation, and the Crucifix

I don't follow the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and it's rare that I read of them but you can read an article here about a 2011 decision of the Grand Chamber (all the judges sitting as a single court, something that rarely happens) permitting Italy to post a crucifix on the walls of its public schools. The writing is a bit choppy--I think the author wrote in French and translated herself into English--but is certainly understandable. The result strikes me as correct but I post about it to show that the problems of state-controlled education and religious belief is not restricted to the American context. The best solution would be to disestablish education but enthusiasm for that solution has waned on this side of the pond with the growth of home schooling and creation of charter schools.


  1. Germany does not allow homeschooling but considers it to be a violation, some kind of crime and punishes the parents who keep their children at home instead of taking them to school with administrative penalty.
    Best wishes Norbert, Berlin

  2. Not only does Germany prevent homeschooling, I seem to recall that the cited article referred to a case before the ECHR finding that the posting of crucifixes in schoolrooms in Bavaria violated the European Charter of Human Rights.