The Forum | 2016 | Page Page: 105

The Future of “Living Together:” An Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’ S.A.S. v. France

by Alexandria Weller

Abstract
In 2014, the European Court of Human rights upheld a French law that prohibits concealing one’s face in public and use of the Muslim burqa. The Court found that the French philosophy of “living together,” which is rooted in the nation's motto "liberté, égalité, fraternité", justified the ban on burqas. Despite the European Convention on Human Rights’s recognition of an individual right to manifest religious beliefs in public, the burqa ban withstands scrutiny as it was written in France. As other nations have taken a similar course of action in banning types of religious dress, the decision by the European Court of Human Rights gives cause for concern. However, due to the Court’s specific practices, including its lack of adherence to its own precedent in similar cases, S.A.S. v. France may not have the adverse ramifications some might fear.

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