The Principle of State Secularism

Tomas Blinstrubis

Abstract


The notion of secularism can be found in the sources of Lithuanian constitutional law as far back as the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania (1990), which provided a broad definition, encompassing not only the secularism of the national education institutions, but also that of state institutions. In the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, the latter is understood as the secularism of the State of Lithuania, its institutions and their activities. In the context of constitutional relations of the state and church, the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court has only referred to the notion of ‘secular state’ a few times. Official constitutional doctrine expressly establishes the principle of secularism in state and local educational institutions. Meanwhile, the concept of the secular state has neither been invoked nor interpreted enough times so as to permit some definition of state secularism as a notion of jurisprudential constitution. We may expect Constitutional Court doctrine to gradually formulate this meaning in the future.

Keywords


Constitution; jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court; the constitutional principle of state secularism; the secular state; separation of church and state; freedom of religion

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236