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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Law and the Wearing of Religious Symbols: European Bans on the Wearing of Religious Symbols in Education

ISBN13: 9780415602648
Published: November 2011
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £90.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780415859653

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Schools and some universities in countries across Europe have banned the wearing of religious symbols and dress by teachers and/or pupils and have brought forward a number of arguments why these bans are necessary. But are these bans really always necessary or even justified by the arguments brought forward? And, are schools violating human rights or anti-discrimination measures by introducing bans? On what grounds can such bans be challenged in court and are there any guidelines for schools which make such challenges less likely? Is the present situation satisfactory or are there better ways of dealing with these issues? These are some of the questions the book examines by analysing the existing legislation and case law in Europe and in European countries.

The book looks at a number of countries in Europe including the UK, France and Germany and considers the situation under the European Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as relevant EU measures. The book explores whether decisions on bans of religious symbols in education and the way these are made at present are satisfactory and whether other provisions or measures are necessary and can be adopted to improve on the present situation. In doing this, the book will go beyond merely analysing the bans in place to suggest a legislative solution to improve the fairness of the balancing exercise necessary to make decisions on bans.

This book will be of interest students and academics in law, human rights, political science, sociology and education, but will also be valuable for policy makers and educationalists.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
1. Definitions
2. Arguments For/Against Bans on Religious Symbols in Schools
3. Bans on Religious Symbols as a Violation of Human Rights
4. Bans on Religious Symbols as a Breach of Anti-Discrimination Legislation
5. Objective Justification of Bans on Religious Symbols
6. Reasonable Accommodation of Religious Manifestations
7. Conclusions and Ways Forward