Politics & Society
July Thu 01, 2010
ORAL SUBMISSION BY PROFESSOR JHH WEILER ON BEHALF OF AREMENIA, BULGARIA, CYPRUS, GREECE, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND SAN MARINO – THIRD PARTY INTERVENING STATES IN THE LAUTSI CASE BEFORE THE GRAND CHAMBER OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Please be aware that the original title of this article, Joseph Weiler: How I Defended the Crucifix Before the European Court of Human Rights, was chosen by the staff without the approval of the author. We are therefore re-posting this article with the title chosen by Professor Weiler: Oral Intervention by Professor Weiler on Behalf of Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Russia, and San Marino - States Who Intervene as Third Parties in the Lautsi Case Before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our apologies to the author.
30 June 2010
May it please the Court,
1. My name is Joseph H.H. Weiler, Professor of Law at New York University and Honorary Professor at London University. I have the honour to represent the Governments of Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, The Russian Federation and San Marino. All Third Parties are of the opinion that the Second Chamber erred in its reasoning and interpretation of the Convention and its subsequent conclusions.
2. I have been instructed by the President of the Grand Chamber that the Third Parties must not address the specifics of the case and be limited to the general principles underlying the case and its possible resolution. Time allocated is 15 minutes. I will, thus, only mention the most essential arguments.
3. In its Decision the Chamber articulated three key principles with two of which the Intervening States strongly agree. They strongly dissent from the third.
4. They strongly agree that the Convention guarantees to individuals Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Religion (positive and negative religious freedom) and they strongly agree on the need for a class room that educates towards tolerance and pluralism.
5. The Chamber also articulates a principle of “neutrality:” “The State's duty of neutrality and impartiality is incompatible with any kind of power on its part to assess the legitimacy of religious convictions or the ways of expressing those convictions. [paragraph 47]
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