European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber to Hear Lautsi v. Italy

April 2010 – Strasbourg

In response to an appeal filed by the government of Italy on 28 January 2010, a panel of five judges of the European Court of Human Rights has announced on 2 March that its recently decided case, Lautsi v. Italy, will be examined by the Grand Chamber on Wednesday, 30 June 2010. The Court’s controversial ruling of 3 November 2009, banning crucifixes in state-run schools, resulted from the complaint of an Italian mother affronted by religious symbols that she asserts violated her children’s freedom of belief and her own rights to raise her children according to her own convictions. The Italian courts, following the viewpoint shared by the Italian government and the Vatican, rejected the applicant’s pleas, on the ground that the cross has become one of the secular values of the Italian Constitution and represents the values of civil life.