Education in the Secular State: Whose Right is it?
International Journal of the Jurisprudence of the Family, Vol. 2, 2011
Posted: 5 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 4, 2011
State Constitutions and international treaties usually recognize the parents’ right to choose the kind of religious or moral education they want for their children. Public authorities have the power to establish the education system and the compulsory subjects of the school curriculum. Conflicts between parental rights and State powers in this area must be resolved by applying the constitutional principles of religious freedom and separation of Church and State. The secularism that pervades Europe has led in some countries to a misconception of the consequences of these principles, and, as a result, to some political decisions regarding the education system that have triggered intense controversies, mainly related to subjects that may include an ideological or moral content. The paper analyzes this matter, with special attention to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.
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