European Court of Human Right

The European Court of Human Rights is a supranational or international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights. It hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. The Convention was adopted within the context of the Council of Europe, and all of its 47 member states are contracting parties to the Convention. The Court is based in Strasbourg, France.

There was no violation of article 9 of ECHR, when a fixed-term employment contract of a Frenchwoman, who was working in a public hospital, was not extended because she was using a Muslim scarf.

The section 5 of ECHR has ruled in its judgement of 26.11 that there was no violation of article 9 of ECHR, when a Frenchwoman who was working in a public hospital as a social worker had refused not take of her Muslim scarf while working. The wearing of a Muslim of scarf had caused many complaints from the customers.

The applicant of the case had worked in a hospital as social worker for the period of 1.10-31.12.1999, after which the contract was extended for the period of 1.1-31.12.2000. The applicant was informed that her fixed-term employment contract will not be extended, because she had refused to not take of her scarf while working in the public hospital.

The French authorities have seen the using of a scarf as an ostentatious religion highlighting, which is in a conflict with the neutrality requirement that frameworks the activities of French authorities. According to the French authorities, the principle of secularism, should be viewed in the light of the French Constitution, namely the article 1 of it. According to the National Courts, the patients in a hospitals must be protected from a biased impacts. All the freedom of religion must be respected.

The section 5 of ECHR was on opinion, that the French authorities had extended their discretion, when the applicants’ religious beliefs were not reconciled with neutral and impartial principles of a state. There was no breach of article 9 of ECHR.