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Campbell and Cosans v. the United Kingdom, Nos. 7511/76, 7743/76, ECtHR (Chamber), 25 February 1982

Type Judgment
Case number 7511/76; 7743/76


Denial to admit the student to school for refusing parents to authorise corporal punishment against him. Breach of art. 2 of the first additional Protocol to the ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 2 Prot. No. 1 ECHR


1. The second sentence of article 2 of the first additional Protocol of the ECHR must be read together with the first sentence, which establishes everyone's right to education. It is on this fundamental right that the parents right to respect for their religious and philosophical beliefs  is based. Therefore, respect is due only to the beliefs of parents who are not in conflict with the child's right to education, since the entire Article 2 of Protocol no. 1 is dominated by its first sentence.

2. Education is the whole process whereby, in any society, adults endeavour to transmit their beliefs, culture and other values to the children. Corporal punishment cannot be considered only an aspect relating to internal school administration but also concerns the process whereby schools develop and mold the character of their students. Therefore, parental opposition to corporal punishment is part of the concept of philosophical beliefs on the basis of which they choose to educate their children, protected by art. 2 of the first Additional Protocol of the ECHR. Therefore, the limitation of access to an educational institution for the refusal of parents to subject their children to corporal punishment given by the school breaches art. 2 of the first Additional Protocol to the ECHR.