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A Wise Return to Judicial Restraint

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image of Religion & Human Rights

In this comment I argue that although I think that secularism properly understood is the best constitutional arrangement for keeping peace in multicultural and religiously pluralistic societies, nevertheless the Grand Chamber judgement rightly overruled the Chamber in Lautsi v. Italy. In view of the subsidiary nature of its jurisdiction and the diversity of constitutional arrangements throughout Europe, it is not for the European Court of Human Rights to erase the cultural and religious traditions of the contracting states and to force them into a conception of secularism that they did not choose.

Affiliations: 1: Erasmus School of Law Erasmus University Rotterdam the Netherlands Law Faculty of the (Flemish) Free University Brussels Belgium


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