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Are rights to religious expression given sufficient protection in schools and workplaces?

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European law

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  1. Introduction
  2. Religious expression in schools
    1. Obligations on the UK courts
    2. European court's approach
    3. The case of Sahin v Turkey
    4. The court of appeal
  3. Workplace
    1. Freedom of religion
    2. UK discrimination legislation
    3. Jones v Tower Boot Company
  4. European convention of rights
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law and the preamble to the HRA states that its purpose is to ?give further effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights?.

Furthermore, section 2(1) of the HRA asserts that ?A court or tribunal determining a question which has arisen in connection with a Convention right must take into account Convention rights? and any determinations by the European Court of Human Rights . Moreover, section 3(1) imposes a positive obligation on judicial authorities to interpret all legislation ?in away which is compatible with the Convention rights?. Accordingly, the HRA ?has had the effect of incorporating the European Convention on Human rights into our law giving individuals rights which can be directly enforced in the UK courts ?. Additionally, section 6 of the HRA provides that ?it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right?.

[...] Indeed, the ACAS Code on ?Bullying and harassment at work: guidance for employees? (the Code)[25] provides guidance on what constitutes bullying and harassment in the workplace and employers are now liable if failure to protect employees from third party harassment is unreasonable[26]. Additionally, the Chartered Management Institute has published a guide for employers entitled ?Religion and Belief in the Workplace?[27]. However, the practical application of this has proved problematic, further compounded by media attention. For example, in Azmi v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council[28]the EAT upheld the employment tribunal's finding that orders to remove the veil when teaching was neither direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. [...]

[...] However, in order to bring a claim for indirect race discrimination is inherently limited and applicants have to establish that they are part of an ethnic group and that the discrimination is on grounds of his race in order to incidentally protect the right to religious expression. The RRA does not define ?race or ethnic group?, however in the leading case of Mandla v Dowell Lee[18]the House of Lords held that in considering the definition of ethnic group it had to be ?identifiable in terms of its ethnic origins if it is a segment of the population distinguished from others by a sufficient combination of shared customs . [...]

[...] Constitutional and Administrative law. 5th edition Routledge Cavendish A Bradley., (2006). Constitutional and Administrative Law. 14th Edition Longman. A. Carroll., (2007). Constitutional and Administrative Law. 4th edition, Pearson Education Harlow Peter Edge (2006) Religion and Law: An introduction. Ashgate Publishing) Greer Hogan (2002). Constitutional and Administrative Law. Sweet and Maxwell. Tom Lewis (2007). What not to wear: religious rights, the European Court and the margin of appreciation. 56(2) International Comparative Law Weekly 395-414 Loveland (2006). Constitutional, Administrative Law and Human Rights. [...]

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