A Black Veil Over Europe: Are Legislative Prohibitions on Islamic Dress ('Burqa Bans') Justified?

76 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018 Last revised: 27 May 2018

See all articles by Nicola Robbins

Nicola Robbins

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: April 2, 2018

Abstract

Recently in Europe there has been an increase in legislative prohibitions on Islamic dress. These prohibitions, which primarily target headscarves and full-face veils, are colloquially referred to as “burqa bans”. Although “burqa bans” exist in many European countries, this paper specifically looks at examples from Switzerland, Turkey and France, and three resulting European Court of Human Rights cases, Dahlab v Switzerland, Şahin v Turkey, and S.A.S v France. This paper also considers the justifications used to support the respective “burqa bans”, namely secularism, coercion and gender equality, and attempts to ascertain their veracity. This paper concludes that the justifications given do not satisfy the goals they claim to achieve, therefore, the bans are not justifiable.

Keywords: Muslim women, headscarf ban, European Court of Human Rights

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Robbins, Nicola, A Black Veil Over Europe: Are Legislative Prohibitions on Islamic Dress ('Burqa Bans') Justified? (April 2, 2018). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No 3/2018 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3154854

Nicola Robbins (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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