Religious Symbols in the Public School Classroom

The Lautsi Papers: Multidisciplinary Reflections on Religious Symbols in the Public School Classroom (Leiden/Boston: BRILL/Martinus Nijhoff, 2012)

36 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2012  

Jeroen Temperman

Erasmus University Rotterdam and Editor-in-Chief of Religion & Human Rights: An International Journal

Date Written: April 17, 2012

Abstract

This paper flags a couple of preliminary legal questions that are remarkably often ignored or trivialized by (international) courts. Underscoring the importance of identifying primary rights holders, genuine conflicting interests, and the obligations of duty bearers in symbol cases, this contribution illustrates that much depends on who can be identified as ‘symbol-displayer’ and who as ‘symbol-viewer’ and within which particular (public) setting. Focusing on public school education, the paper addresses such questions as under what circumstances may State neutrality be considered a legitimate ground for limiting fundamental rights. And who is actually supposed ‘to be neutral’ according to human rights law –– States, buildings, the ‘public square’, civil servants, teachers, students, and/or pupils? When does a symbol truly ‘interfere’ with the rights and freedoms of others or with public order? And who is to prove that? Also, what are the exact standards of proof in symbols cases?

Introduction is available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908925

Keywords: Lautsi, Lautsi v. Italy, religious symbols, public schools, symbols, religion, crucifix, headscarf, European Court of Human Rights, crucifixes, headscarves

Suggested Citation

Temperman, Jeroen, Religious Symbols in the Public School Classroom (April 17, 2012). The Lautsi Papers: Multidisciplinary Reflections on Religious Symbols in the Public School Classroom (Leiden/Boston: BRILL/Martinus Nijhoff, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2041256 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2041256

Jeroen Temperman (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam and Editor-in-Chief of Religion & Human Rights: An International Journal ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://ridms.nl/temperman/

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