Introduction to Maine Law Review Symposium on 'Law, Religion, and Lautsi v. Italy' (Religious Liberty in Europe and the United States)
4 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2013
This is an introduction to the Maine Law Review's Symposium on religious liberty in Europe and the United States. The symposium departs from the 2011 decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Lautsi v. Italy, which upheld the display of the crucifix in Italian classrooms. Defending that decision, Professor Joseph Weiler of NYU Law (who argued the cause on behalf of several intervening EU member states and delivered the symposium's keynote address) issues a robust challenge to those who (as he describes it) would make American-style separation of church and state or French laïcité (secularism) the uniform law of the land in Europe. In response, Professors William Marshall of UNC Law and Pierre-Henri Prélot of the University of Cergy-Pontoise in France concur on certain points with Weiler but challenge other aspects of his interpretation of the nature and merits of the American and French religious liberty traditions.
Keywords: religion, Lautsi, Italy, European Court of Human Rights, separation, church, state, constitution, Christian values, establishment, non-establishment, laicite, secularism, liberty of conscience, muslim, religious liberty
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