The Observatory has a double purpose: centralising the Excellence Department’s activities and making the collected materials and the achieved results, distributed as open access, available for consultation and research. The related database www.lawpluralism.unimib.it collects Italian, European and international norms and case law, but also legal practices and soft law produced at each level of government.
Data are divided in five thematic areas, which represent the key topics of the relation between law and pluralism:
- Pluralism and Democracy (relationship between modern democracies and some of their constitutive elements such as secularism and the freedom of conscience, expression and religion; meaning of citizenship; identification of the content, the limits and the future ramifications of conscientious objection).
- Public Security, Prevention of and Fight against Terrorism, International Cooperation (extent of the constitutional freedoms in relation to public order and public security issues; coordination of supranational and national plans against proselytism and the spread of violent messages and ideologies; regulation of mass media – the Internet, social media – and protection of individual rights such as freedom of thought, privacy and protection of personal data).
- Pluralism and Criminal Justice (judicial rules adopted by the different countries to face culturally oriented crimes and emphasis placed by the case law on the cultural context; respect of the cultural factor in the enforcement of judgements; radicalisation in prisons).
- Work and Business in Plural Society (equal treatment of all workers and balancing of the financial, organizational, and economic growth needs with values stemming from cultural, ethnic and religious pluralism; multiculturalism as a value integral to the company’s development in terms of its economic competitiveness; organizational models and tools that are more apt for successful entrepreneurial initiatives which promote integration).
- Minors and family child’s right to education and wellbeing, and parent’s perceived responsibilities which are necessarily delineated by their culture and religion; conditions of foster care and juvenile prisons, as well as the protection of unaccompanied minors; development of new professional child advocates to assist and protect minors who face family, educational and societal problems (such as the “family mediator”, the guardian of unaccompanied minors or the Child Ombudsman); juvenile justice system; recognition and regulation of marriages within particular religions and their accompanying specific regulations).
Collecting, consulting and studying the data base material, from the one hand, allows to verify the ongoing juridical transformation, through a comparative and transnational approach, and from the other hand it provides a scientific base to produce new policies of peaceful coexistence, social inclusion and interfaith dialogue.