Lautsi v Italy: Italian Government requests Grand Chamber referral
Via the excellenmt ECHR blog comes news that Italy has asked for a referral of the Chamber decision in Lautsi v Italy (the crucifixes in the classroom case about which we blogged here, here, here and here) to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. The referral request is here, although only in French. The referral request contends that a Grand Chamber decision on this issue would be appropriate as the case it is argued appears to contravene previous case law, leaves too small a margin of appreciation to states, and is a serious issue of general importance. I share the view of Antoine Buyse over at ECHR blog that it would be preferable for the Grand Chamber to acede to the request and hear the case if only to clarify the situation. It can only be hoped that popular coverage of the case if it goes to the Grand Chamber will improve in accuracy, namely by recognising that the law impugned requires (rather than permits) the display of thre crucifix and that the decision is emanating from the ECtHR and not, as so many media outlets reports, the ‘European Union’.