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Ghazal v. France, dec., No. 29134/08, ECtHR (Fifth Section), 30 June 2009


A disciplinary measure of expulsion from school for repeated refusal of the student to remove the Islamic headscarf to access the class does not violate art. 9 of the ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR


1. The State plays an essential role as a neutral and impartial organiser of the exercise of various religions, cults and beliefs, in order to grant religious peace and tolerance in a democratic society. Where questions concerning the relationship between State and religions are at stake, on which opinion in a democratic society may reasonably differ widely, the role of the national decision-making body must be given special importance, particularly when it comes to regulating the wearing of religious symbols in educational institutions.

2. The aim of protecting the rights and freedoms of others, public order and public safety can legitimately justify the limitation of the freedom of manifestation of religion and, therefore, the choice made by the national school authorities to prohibit wearing religious symbols in public schools.