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1948-12-08 - Council of State, Miss Pasteau, no. 91.406

Workplace · France · Civil servant · Neutrality

Unlawful dismissal on religious grounds

Key facts of the case - The applicant was a social worker with a fixed term contract. The minister of Education had terminated her contract on religious grounds.

Main reasoning of the court - The applicant had, however, never behaved in breach of her strict duty of neutrality, which applies to all public agents involved in public service activities. Hence, the Minister unlawfully intended to generally deny to public official having religious beliefs the ability to hold functions of social worker for school and university health.

Comment - This ancient case explicitly relies on the principle of religious neutrality of civil servants. This core principle of the French legal tradition is still not entrenched in a legislative text but regularly recalled in case law.