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Irfan Temel and others v. Turkey, No. 36458/02, ECtHR (Second Section), 3 May 2009

Type Judgment
Case number 36458/02


Disciplinary measure of suspension of students from attending university courses in response to their petition to have lessons available in a particular language. Violation of art. 2 of the first additional protocol to the ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 2 Prot. 1 ECHR


1. The right to education does not in principle exclude recourse to disciplinary measures, including suspension or expulsion from an educational institution in order to ensure compliance with its internal rules. However, in order to ensure that the restrictions which are imposed do not curtail the right in question to such an extent as to impair its very essence and deprive it of its effectiveness, they must be foreseeable for those concerned, pursue a legitimate aim and be proportionate to the aim pursued.

2. The suspension from attending university classes is not a proportionate measure for the mere submittion of petitions conveying the students’ views on the need that lessons are made available in a particular language and requesting that language classes be introduced as an optional module, without having committed any reprehensible act of violence or attempt to breach the peace or order in the university.

(Case related to the suspension by the Turkish University authorities of a number of students for periods of between one and two terms as a disciplinary measure against them in response to their petition to have classes available in the university in the Kurdish language).