Title: The concept of living together as a limit to freedom of religion or belief in ECtHR's S.A.S. v France

Authors: José Ramón Polo

Addresses: School of Law, University of Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, s/n, 29071 – Málaga, Spain

Abstract: This work is a critical study of the decision handed down by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of S.A.S. v France, especially the controversial use by the court of the concept of minimum requirements of living together (vivre ensemble) as an acceptable limit on the freedom of religion and belief with regard to the convention. This is compared with the intemperate use that the ECtHR has been making in this area of the doctrine of national margin of appreciation. The author reaches the conclusion that in this decision, as in others, political constraints have had a significant weight, over and above strictly legal arguments, leading to very poor protection of those fundamental rights involved.

Keywords: S.A.S. v France; Islamic veil; Islamic headscarf; Islam; Burqa banning; freedom of religion; freedom of belief; European case law; national margin of appreciation; living together; European Court of Human Rights; ECHR; vivre ensemble; political constraints; legal arguments; fundamental rights; Muslims.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2016.079647

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2016 Vol.4 No.3, pp.220 - 239

Received: 27 May 2016
Accepted: 05 Jun 2016

Published online: 06 Oct 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article