The verdict: It is not possible to ban the veil in schools

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Published 8 December 2022 at 20.13

Law & Right. The Supreme Administrative Court now states that there is a lack of legal support for municipalities to ban veils in municipal preschools and primary schools.

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In two cases, the Supreme Administrative Court has heard whether municipal decisions not to accept headscarves and similar garments in municipal preschools and primary schools are against the law or another constitution.

A number of municipal members in each municipality claimed, among other things, that the municipal decisions ran counter to freedom of religion. The Supreme Administrative Court states in its judgment that freedom of religion, as it is expressed in the form of government, only protects the right to practice one's religion.

Expressions of religious affiliation, such as the wearing of headscarves and similar items of clothing, are covered according to the court instead of the protection of freedom of expression. And a basic prerequisite for limiting freedom of expression is that it is done by law.

– Limiting the right to wear a headscarf has effects on individuals and is therefore a limitation of freedom of expression. For the restriction to be permissible, it must be supported by law. Such legal support is missing in national law and therefore the municipalities' decisions must be annulled, says Justice Ulrik von Essen.