Head-Covering Bans in Belgian Courtrooms and Beyond: Headscarf Persecution and the Complicity of Supranational Courts

Forthcoming, Human Rights Quarterly, Fall 2017

32 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2016

See all articles by Eva Brems

Eva Brems

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent

Corina Heri

Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Saïla Ouald Chaib

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent

Lieselot Verdonck

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent; Ghent University-Universiteit Gent

Date Written: December 29, 2016

Abstract

The Islamic headscarf is banned in an increasing number of contexts in Belgium. According to the authors, this pattern can be characterized as ‘headscarf persecution’. A topical example relates to access to courtrooms, which is evidenced by Lachiri v. Belgium, a case pending before the European Court of Human Rights. This article first reviews the interpretation of the ban on head-coverings in the courtroom. On the basis of a poll conducted among judges, their approach towards religious and non-religious head-coverings in courtrooms is discussed in practice. The matter is then considered within the broader Belgian social and legal context and, lastly, analysed in light of the case law of the European Courts.

Keywords: headscarf, courtroom, european court of human rights, european court of justice, freedom of religion, discrimination

Suggested Citation

Brems, Eva and Heri, Corina and Ouald Chaib, Saïla and Verdonck, Lieselot, Head-Covering Bans in Belgian Courtrooms and Beyond: Headscarf Persecution and the Complicity of Supranational Courts (December 29, 2016). Forthcoming, Human Rights Quarterly, Fall 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2891277

Eva Brems (Contact Author)

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Corina Heri

Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam (UvA) ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uva.nl/en/profile/h/e/c.heri/c.heri.html

Saïla Ouald Chaib

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Lieselot Verdonck

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

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