Home > Public space > Netherlands > 1988-01-22 - Supreme Court, Maimonides v. Brucker

1988-01-22 - Supreme Court, Maimonides v. Brucker

Public space · The Netherlands · Faith-Based Organisation · School

A faith state funded school can rely on its constant policy and freedom of education to refuse the application of a non-Jewish pupil

Key facts of the case - A boy was not admitted to the Jewish Maimonides secondary school. This school was the only one in the Netherlands that provided the Jewish education chosen by his parents. The school refused to enroll him because the boy was, according to the school’s interpretation of the Halacha, not Jewish.

Main reasoning of the court - Before the court the father invoked Article 2 of the First Protocol ECHR, Articles 3 and 14 ECHR and Article 1 of the Constitution (on non-discrimination). Maimonides, a private state funded Jewish school, relied on its freedom to admit pupils on the basis of religious criteria (Art. 23 Constitution j°, Art. 6 Constitution and Art. 27 ICCPR).
The Supreme Court decided that there is no basis in national or international law that gives parents a right to have their child accepted in a school that offers an education that is in conformity with their parental religious convictions. Art. 2 First Protocol ECHR and art. 23 Constitution give parents a claim against the state to have their choice of education respected, but this is not the case for a claim against a private institution. The Court held that the orthodox Jewish school could exclude a pupil because this exclusion was based on a consistent policy, a policy that was directly related to the religious foundation of the school. The school therefore could rely on its constitutional freedom of education.