Muslim law clerks CAN be ordered to remove head scarves in court because “full neutrality” outweighs religious freedom, German judges rule
- The highest court in Germany ruled that the clerk may be asked to remove the headscarf
- The ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court was in favor of judicial neutrality
- The judgment follows similar decisions taken in various other German states
Judges in Germany have told a Muslim clerk that she can prevented from wearing a headscarf during legal proceedings.
Germany’s highest bank, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the obligation of the judiciary to complete neutrality outweighs its freedom of religion.
The woman of Moroccan descent born in Frankfurt prosecuted after becoming a legal clerk in 2017 and was limited in what she could do by the Land of Hesse authorities.
She was allowed to wear her headscarf, but she was forbidden to follow legal proceedings from the couch while she wore them and instead had to sit among the observers in the courtroom.
Judges in Germany have ruled that white-collar workers may be asked to remove their headscarves, similar to those pictured above, or face a limited role in legal proceedings
She also could not testify or lead legal proceedings.
Other German states such as North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Berlin have similar regulations, dpa new agency reported.
In other regions there is no guidance because the problem has never been addressed or dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
In 2017 a German judge told a Syrian woman that she had to remove her Islamic headscarf in court during a hearing about a divorce, otherwise she would not be able to divorce legally.
The judge warned that there was no room for religious symbols in the courtroom.
A court in Germany ruled against an attempt by the Hamburg authorities to ban a 16-year-old schoolgirl from wearing a nikab during a lesson
In addition, eight German states are currently enforcing restrictions on the wearing of hijab by female teachers after a 2015 decision by the German Constitutional Court overturned a general ban on teachers wearing hijabs and ruled that it was against religious freedom.
Earlier this month, a German court overturned a school’s niqab ban after a 16-year-old girl was told to show teachers her face.
Hamburg education officials had ordered the girl’s mother to ensure that her daughter did not wear the veil at school, a decision that destroyed an administrative court.
Civil servants and police officers have already been banned from wearing the niqab, burka or hijab or any other religious symbol, but this has not previously been extended to members of the public.