M. Kherouaa et Mme Kachour, M. Balo et Mme
Kizic, req. n°130394,
Facts: the applicants M. Mostépha Kherouaa, Mme Fatima Kachour, M. Satilmis Balo, Mme Leyze Kizic appealed the refusal of the Administrative Tribunal of Paris on July 2, 1991 to cancel a decision by the educational council (« conseil d'administration ») of the High School Jean Jaurès in Montfermeil which prohibited students to wear a headscarf and a decision by the disciplinary council («conseil de discipline ») of the same High School which excluded the daughters of the applicants from the School because they wore a headscarf. The internal regulation of the Junior high school provided that wearing any distinctive sign, clothing or otherwise, of a religious, political or philosophical order was strictly forbidden.
Holding: the Conseil d'Etat (court of last resort deciding on claims brought against states or local authorities) cancelled the decision of the Tribunal Administratif of Paris and decided that article 13 of the internal regulation of Jean Jaurès violated the applicants' rights and had to be amended.
Reasoning: The applicants' daughters, who wore headscarves at school, were refused access to class and were thereafter excluded from the school. Article 13 of the school rules forbidding students to wear headscarf violated their right to freedom of religion and belief guaranteed by Article 10 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of August 26, 1789, the Constitution, and the Law of July 10, 1989 relating to orientation and education. The Conseil d'Etat overturned the school's internal regulation because it created a general and absolute prohibition that completely ignored the students' recognized freedom of expression in the context of the principles of neutrality and secularism in public education.
Comparative Bills of Rights ||Freedom of Religion