Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bavarian Court Upholds Ban On Judges and Prosecutors Wearing Hijab

In Germany, Bavaria's constitutional court yesterday upheld a Bavarian law banning judges and prosecutors from wearing religious symbols in the courtroom. The court said that officials administering justice have a special obligation to be neutral in religion and ideology.  The ban was challenged a Muslim group that objected to the ban's application to the wearing of Islamic head scarfs. DW reports:
The judge voiced the opinion that the ban, which also forbids officials to wear religious symbols such as crosses or a kippa — or yarmulke — during court proceedings, did not go against laws on religious freedom or equality....
The Islamic group had argued that the ban violated both laws, as the Christian symbol of the cross hangs in Bavarian courtrooms.
This argument was not accepted by the court, which maintained that the presence of crosses was a different matter, as it was determined by the court administration and cast no doubt on the neutrality of individual judges or lawyers.
The court also said the ban did not discriminate against women, as other items of clothing with religious significance that were worn by men were also forbidden.