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Dakir v. Belgium, No. 4619/12, ECtHR (Second Section), 11 July 2017

Type Judgment
Case number 4619/12


Municipal by-law prohibiting wearing the Muslim headscarf in public places. Non-violation of Articles 8 and 9 of the Convention.

Normative references

Art. 8 ECHR
Art. 9 ECHR
Art. 14 ECHR


1. The Court has a subsidiary role in the Convention system, whilst the national authorities have direct democratic legitimation in so far as the protection of human rights is concerned. Moreover, by reason of their direct and continuous contact with the vital forces of their countries, the State authorities are in principle better placed than an international court to evaluate local needs and conditions.

2. A ban on wearing of Muslim headscarf may lead to the risk of contributing to the consolidation of the stereotypes which affect certain categories of the population and of encouraging the expression of intolerance. However, in enacting such provisions the State searches to address a practice which it deems incompatible, in its society, with the ground rules of social communication and more broadly the establishment of human relations that are essential for “living together”. In this sense, the question whether or not it should be permitted to wear the full-face veil in public places constitutes a “choice of society”.