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2009-03-17 - Council of State, n. 191.532

Public space · Belgium · Dress code · Headscarf · School

School regulation prohibiting religious head coverings

Key facts of the case - The internal school regulations of a public school in Vauban prohibits pupils to wear any head covering and any visible political or religious signs within the school premises, and this regulation was approved by the minister-president of the French Community responsible for education on 25 August 2005. A Belgian non-profit fighting racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia (“MRAX”) sues the French Community and the public school.

Main reasoning of the court - The Council of State rejects the appeal of MRAX on the basis that “the regulation, far from violating the goals of MRAX (fighting discrimination and prejudices), has the effect of meeting and strengthening its goals. For this reason the requesting party does not have an interest in pursuing this claim.”
Comment – This concerns a very short judgment (in contrast to a number of other Council of State decisions on the same or related topics where the Council of State considers both sides of the argument with regard to religious symbols or dress) in which the action brought by a non-profit is swiftly rejected without any real consideration.

See the decision (in French): 2009-03-17 - Council of State, n. 191.532.