Leaving Religion at the Door? The European Court of Justice and Religious Symbols in the Workplace

(2017) 17 Human Rights Law Review 784. doi: 10.1093/hrlr/ngx026

12 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2018 Last revised: 12 Dec 2019

See all articles by Mark Bell

Mark Bell

Trinity College Dublin; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: October 19, 2017

Abstract

On 14 March 2017, the Court of Justice (CJEU) delivered its judgment in two cases, Achbita and Bougnaoui, that centred on the question of whether an employer may dismiss an employee for wearing a headscarf due to her religious beliefs. While such issues have already arisen on numerous occasions before the European Court of Human Rights, this was the most significant opportunity for the Luxembourg Court to enter the fray. This article presents the judgments of the Court. It identifies several key themes that warrant critical reflection including the approach to the justification of indirect discrimination; accommodating religious diversity at work; and possible tensions that arise with the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Keywords: headscarf, religion, discrimination, court of justice, european union

Suggested Citation

Bell, Mark, Leaving Religion at the Door? The European Court of Justice and Religious Symbols in the Workplace (October 19, 2017). (2017) 17 Human Rights Law Review 784. doi: 10.1093/hrlr/ngx026, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3055709

Mark Bell (Contact Author)

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

School of Law
College Green
Dublin, 2
Ireland

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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