Discrimination or Democracy? Reviewing the French Veil Ban in Light of the European Convention on Human Rights
Avainsanat:Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuin, oikeusvertailu, uskonnonvapaus, freedom of religion, comparative law, European Court of Human Rights, European Convention of Human Rights, Euroopan ihmisoikeussopimus
This article aims to examine the rhetoric and legal logic exercised in S.A.S. v France, where the European Court of Human Rights reviewed French national legislation which treads perilously upon codified European human right norms. This article focuses on the French ban on full-face coverings in public and critically analyzes the logic of the arguments utilized by France to defend the ban. The case commentary is enriched with an analysis of the political and social rhetoric that must not be ignored when discussing justice and law.
Despite nearly a decade having passed since the verdict, it remains crucial to review the legal vocabulary utilized and understand how it complicated the Court’s analysis due to France framing the matter as a judgement over values. This rhetoric persists today, making it improbable to contest these violations beyond a national judicial system. The article seeks to challenge the complacency of the Court due to hesitation to make a judgement over values, despite its existence to safeguard specific values. It also encourages continued skepticism toward the Court’s ability to secure human rights and fundamental freedoms.