"Nadia Eweida wasn't hurting anyone and was perfectly capable of doing her job whilst wearing a small cross. She had just as much a right to express her faith as a Sikh man in a turban or a Muslim woman with a headscarf."
But, Chakrabarti added, the European court "was also right to uphold judgments in other cases that employers can expect staff not to discriminate in the discharge of duties at work."
The British Humanist Association also praised the European court for "applying the right principles" to the cases -- those of equality and human rights.
The association's chief executive, Andrew Copson, said the political Christian lobby and socially conservative media had sought to whip up a "victim narrative" around the cases that had no basis in reality.
"What they describe as discrimination and marginalization of Christians is in fact the proper upholding of human rights and equalities law and principles -- principles which protect all people against unfair treatment -- and we are pleased that the court has recognized this," he said in a statement.
"All reasonable people will agree that there is scope in a secular democracy for reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs when that accommodation does not affect the rights and freedoms of others."
The four Christians turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, after losing every round of their battles through the British legal system.
Their claims were filed under European human rights law, focusing on guarantees of freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination at work.
The cases have been closely watched in Europe because they may help to draw a clear boundary in cases where religious views contradict laws against discrimination. The court's decisions have implications across 47 countries on the continent.
The court ruling will not be binding in Britain, but the country is legally obliged to take it into account.