How much veil is too much veil: on the constitutionality and advisability of face veil bans for German public school students

Article


Braun, Kerstin. 2017. "How much veil is too much veil: on the constitutionality and advisability of face veil bans for German public school students." German Law Journal. 18 (6), pp. 1331-1358.
Article Title

How much veil is too much veil: on the constitutionality and
advisability of face veil bans for German public school
students

ERA Journal ID40347
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorBraun, Kerstin
Journal TitleGerman Law Journal
Journal Citation18 (6), pp. 1331-1358
Number of Pages28
Year2017
Place of PublicationCanada
ISSN2071-8322
Web Address (URL)https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56330ad3e4b0733dcc0c8495/t/5a088d50085229359d7dc4df/1510509905522/02_Vol_18_No_06A_Braun.pdf
Abstract

With increasing cultural and religious diversity in Germany, a debate has emerged over the extent and limits of religious freedom in day-to-day life. While much controversy arose over whether public school teachers have the right to wear Islamic head coverings, students as
private individuals are free to wear a headscarf at school if they wish. Yet, recent school and administrative court decisions suggest that the situation is different for students who wear niqab and Islamic face veils rather than just head veils. This Article contemplates whether
niqab-wearing students can be expelled from public school under current German law. In addition, this Article addresses the constitutionality of law reform in this area especially considering the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence in the French context. The Article subsequently contemplates the advisability of such law reform while also drawing on the experiences of countries which have already enacted so-called burqa bans. As many
countries are currently in the process of considering face veil bans, this Article may have relevance beyond the German context.

KeywordsGermany; public schools; students; Islamic face veils; niqab; law reform
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480302. Comparative law
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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