Dahlab v. switzerland

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dahlab v. switzerland

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Dahlab v. Switzerland

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Include any more information that will help us locate the issue and fix it faster for you. Teacher prohibited form wearing the Islamic veil while on duty. Human Rights Case Digest — Brill. Enjoy affordable access to over 18 million articles from more than 15, peer-reviewed journals. Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15, scientific journals. See the journals in your area.

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Share Full Text for Free beta. Web of Science. Let us know here. System error. Please try again!This post highlights some difficulties raised by the rulings on headscarves at work by the European Court of Justice CJEUin the Achbita and Bougnaoui cases that arose in Belgium and France, respectively.

In the absence of a single fixed meaning of the headscarf, the recent CJEU rulings are problematic. Ever since the controversial judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Dahlab v Switzerland public debate and further litigation on the headscarf have added layers of complexity.

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In Dahlab a schoolteacher was not permitted to wear her headscarf at the school at which she was employed. The complaint was found to be inadmissible. The European Court paid attention to the alleged proselytising effects the headscarf would have on pupils. In Sahin v Turkey the European Court upheld the ban on wearing the headscarf at university and emphasised the need for gender equality. These cases were politicised and interpretations of the headscarf ranged from its alleged proselytising effects to its symbolising of gender inequality.

The litigation on the headscarf continued with El Morsli v.

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FranceDogru v. France and Ebrahimian v.

ECtHR, Dahlab v. Switzerland, App. No. 42393/98 (2001)

Inthe CJEU added to the ever-growing body of case law on headscarves. The CJEU did not find direct discrimination and held that such a policy of banning religious symbols would potentially constitute indirect discrimination, but could be objectively justified if applied equally to other beliefs.

The question for the CJEU was whether the wishes of customers to not see the headscarf could constitute a genuine and determining occupational requirement and the Court ruled that this could only be permissible in very narrow circumstances based on an objective assessment.

The CJEU decisions leave the question of accommodating the headscarf open to employers provided that there is a consistent neutral policy that applies equally to other beliefs too. At the same time, the headscarf has received attention in popular culture and in the fashion industry. Thus, the meanings attached to the headscarf are in a state of flux and pose some interesting questions for the law on religious symbols and work-place neutrality rules that regard the headscarf as only a religious symbol of gender inequality.

Just how the case law develops and takes into account these recent social realities remains to be seen. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.Yet in Dahlab v Switzerlandan earlier case the applicant citedbanning a teacher from wearing her hijab whilst teaching was considered a justifiable interference with her Article 9 right, to protect the religious freedom of the schoolchildren.

Yet the differences in the application of the margin of appreciation in each case mean the uncomfortable possibility of a bias, in favour of the predominant national religion, must be taken seriously.

Why should a symbol on a person be taken to have a more powerful impact on students than a symbol on the wall? One could counter that it is not just any person, but the teacher, in a position of authority; could this amount to an abuse of power?

However, the aforementioned cases concerned active preaching, so the court would have to provide a compelling reason to explain how the wearing of a garment is capable of amounting to an abuse of power. When another case on freedom of religion comes before the ECtHR, it will have to address the uncomfortable inconsistencies in its existing case law and be mindful of the risk of bias in doing so.

Dahlab v Switzerland: ECHR 15 Feb 2001

Of course, any such bias would have ramifications that extend beyond the classroom. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Religious symbols in schools: Passive and harmless or a powerful threat?

Equality and Non-Discrimination Religion. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.Excerpts of relevant paragraphs of 25 years mandate reporting practice When dealing with the issue of religious symbols, two aspects of the question need to be taken into account.

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On the one hand, many individuals in various parts of the world are prevented from identifying themselves through the display of religious symbols, while on the other hand the reports and activities of the mandate have revealed the practice in some countries of requiring people to identify themselves through the display of religious symbols, including religious dress in public.

The Special Rapporteur refers to the former as positive freedom of religion or belief, and to the latter as negative freedom of religion. The following paragraphs examine, from an international human rights perspective, both positive and negative freedom of religion or belief of individuals with regard to the wearing of religious symbols such as garments and ornaments. A different, albeit related, issue is the display of religious symbols in public locations such as courthouses, polling stations, classrooms, public squares, etc.

Some aspects of these situations have been the subject of several national legal judgements at the highest level, [Cf. Perry ; Italian Corte costituzionale, judgement of 13 December on crucifixes in schools Ordinanza N. A comparative analysis of the factual aspects reveals a set of regulations or prohibitions on wearing religious symbols in more than 25 countries all over the world. Examples of affected believers and their religious garments or ornaments include Muslims wearing headscarves, Jews wearing yarmulkes, Christians wearing crucifixes, collars and nuns' habits, Hindus displaying a bindi, Buddhists wearing saffron robes, Sikhs wearing turbans or kirpans as well as followers of Bhagwan Osho wearing reddish-coloured clothing.

There are different levels of regulation or prohibition on the wearing of religious symbols including constitutional provisions, legislative acts at the national level, regulations and mandatory directives of regional or local authorities, rules in public or private organizations or institutions e. The intensity of possible adverse effects for individuals who do not abide by the regulations or prohibitions also depends on the respective field of application.

Pupils in primary and secondary schools run the risk of being expelled from the public school system, whereas teachers are in danger of reprimands, suspension and, ultimately, dismissal from their jobs. At the university level, students also run the risk of being expelled or of not being awarded their degrees unless they abide by prescriptions concerning religious symbols.

University lecturers are likely not to be employed in the first place. In the work environment in general there is a risk of reprimands, suspension and dismissal directly connected to the wearing of religious symbols.

This may affect both employees in private enterprises and civil servants, as well as members of Parliament and military personnel. When certain dress codes are applicable for ID photographs, e. In public, individuals may either be prevented positive aspect of freedom of religion or belief or coerced to wear religious symbols that they consider not essential to their convictions negative freedom of religion or belief.

After in situ visits, Special Rapporteur Amor addressed possible solutions by urging that dress should not be the subject of political regulation and by calling for flexible and tolerant attitudes in this regard. Furthermore, in resolution on "Women and religion in Europe", the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has recently called on its member States to "ensure that freedom of religion and respect for culture and tradition are not accepted as pretexts to justify violations of women's rights, including when underage girls are forced to submit to religious codes including dress codes ".

The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief more specifically enumerates the freedom to "make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles and materials related to rites or customs of a religion or belief". It is not clear whether the wearing of religious symbols falls under the category of "practice" or "observance".

In listing the features that required protection, the Committee does not seem to distinguish clearly between these two categories. However, some commentators have suggested that observance refers to "prescriptions that are inevitably connected with a religion or belief and protects both the right to perform certain acts and the right to refrain from doing certain things", whereas practice concerns manifestations which are "not prescribed, but only authorized by a religion or belief".

During the elaboration of general comment No.

dahlab v. switzerland

She resolutely opposed the idea that "States could have complete latitude to decide what was and what was not a genuine religious belief. The contents of a religion should be defined by the worshippers themselves". It would therefore be most inappropriate for the State to determine whether the symbol in question was indeed a manifestation of religious belief.

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The Special Rapporteur therefore shares the approach of the Human Rights Committee in dealing with the wearing of religious symbols under the headings of "practice and observance" together. The controversy under international human rights law tends to centre on possible limitations on the freedom to manifest one's religion or belief, e. Generally speaking, these clauses only accept such limitations as are prescribed or determined by law and are necessary - in a democratic society - to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The list of permissible reasons for intervention notably does not include additional grounds stipulated for different human rights, e. Furthermore, article 4 2 of the Covenant and article 27 2 of AmCHR prescribe that, even in time of public emergency or war, no derogation from the freedom of conscience and religion is permissible.

That this right is non-derogable again underlines the importance of the freedom of religion or belief.This article analyses the way in which the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with claims by two women one a teacher and one a student who were denied the right to wear headscarves in their educational institutions. The article analyses the way in which the Court considered but failed to fully engage with three issues raised in those cases: proselytism; gender equality; and intolerance and secularism.

Veils, it seems, are very revealing. As soon as a Muslim woman covers her head there are large numbers of people — from journalists to politicians, academics to talkback radio callers — who know exactly who she is and what she stands for.

The first, Dahlab v Switzerland[8] involved a school teacher who was banned from teaching in a primary school because she dressed in traditional, modest clothing including a headscarf. The decisions of the Court in both cases relied on two contradictory stereotypes of Muslim women as the essential basis for the decisions.

dahlab v. switzerland

While the formal tests adopted by the Court set a very high bar for states that seek to limit the rights of those within their jurisdictions, in practice, the rights of minority religions in many European states have been routinely limited and the Court has not condemned such limitations. The two cases discussed in this article are examples of the way in which the members of the Court find it difficult to move outside the religious paradigms that are most common in Europe that is, either broadly Christian or secular and to deal with non-Christian religions in a manner that is respectful and culturally sensitive.

dahlab v. switzerland

The key provision in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [13] with respect to freedom of religion is art 9. It states:. The first sub-section sets out the positive scope of the freedom.

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Unlike the US and Australian constitutions, [14] the European Convention on Human Rights makes it clear that religious freedom is not limited to beliefs but extends to manifestations, that is, actions as well as beliefs. This is the most amorphous and least well defined of the categories of protected religious freedom, in part because the Court will often say that it is assuming a breach of art 9 and then go on to explore the limitations in art 9 2 without discussing in any detail the claims of the particular practice to the protection of art 9 1.

In Dahlabfor example, the Court simply proceeded on the assumption that wearing religious clothing was covered by art 9 1. Despite the reluctance of the Court to make such a determination, there is a strong case for arguing that the wearing of religious clothing, at least when the wearing of such clothing is a requirement of the religion, does fall within the protection of art 9.

That the Court was unwilling to state this explicitly in its judgment demonstrates its general reluctance to acknowledge the value and religious importance of many key religious practices outside of Christianity. It compares poorly to the clear and unambiguous finding of the UN Human Rights Committee in dealing with a student whose wearing of the headscarf at university led to her harassment by university authorities. In that case, the Committee commented on the application of art 18, the religious freedom provision in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[28] stating that.

Even if the wearing of religious apparel is covered by art 9 1art 9 2 makes it clear that the right to manifest a religion can be subject to limitations of a specific kind.

The limitations clause of art 9, while not precisely the same as the clauses used in similar articles of the European Convention on Human Rightsis of sufficient similarity that the basic tests developed under similar provisions — for example, the free speech or free assembly articles — are also used with respect to religious freedom.The following is a list of notable judgements by the European Court of Human Rights.

On 19 Februaryin the case of A. The case concerned the applicants' complaints that they were detained in high security conditions under a statutory scheme that permitted the indefinite detention of non-nationals certified by the Secretary of State as suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The applicants were 11 individuals, six of Algerian nationality; four, respectively, of FrenchJordanianMoroccan and Tunisian nationality; and, one, born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, and thus stateless. The Court made awards under Article 41 of the European Convention on Human Rights just satisfaction that were substantially lower than those it made in past cases of unlawful detention, in view of the fact that the detention scheme was devised in the face of a public emergency and as an attempt to reconcile the need to protect the United Kingdom public against terrorism with the obligation not to send the applicants back to countries where they faced a real risk of ill-treatment.

The applicants were jointly awarded EUR 60, for legal costs. In Loizidou v. Turkey the property rights of Greek-Cypriot refugees displaced by an invading Turkish army were addressed.

In Junethe Court supported the illegalization of the Basque party Batasuna formerly Herri Batasuna on the basis that its activity was part of the strategy of the terrorist group ETAstating that its illegalization by Spain could be justified as necessary in a democratic society in the pursuit of the legitimate aim of preventing terrorism.

In the case M. Since the Russian military invaded Chechnya for the second time inthe Court agreed to hear cases of human rights abuse brought forward by Chechen civilians against Russia in the course of the Second Chechen Warwith rulings to date as of April including regarding the cases of torture and extrajudicial executions. As ofthe Court has been flooded by complaints from Chechnya, what the Human Rights Watch called "the last hope for the victims".

The ruling not only made into numerous talk shows on TV, but invoked sharp criticism [15] and threats to pull out of the court [16] among some high-ranking Russian politicians and caused the State Duma to adopt a condemning resolution [17]. This case involved balancing the right of freedom of speech against the rights of private property owners. The issue was whether shopping centers in new townsby assuming the functions of traditional high streetsmust also assume the responsibility of serving as a public forum.

The Court considered but declined to follow the decision of the Supreme Court of California in the landmark case of Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center affirmed by the U. Supreme Court in Pruneyard Shopping Center v.

Robins In upholding the Turkish Constitutional Court's dissolution of The Welfare Party Refah Partisi for violating Turkey's principle of secularism by calling for the re-introduction of religious law the court held "that sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy.

In several cases, the Court has ruled in favour of restricting the display of symbols and clothing as religious signs.


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