The student, a Muslim wished to wear a full Islamic dress, the jilbab, but this was not consistent with the school’s uniform policy. She complained that this interfered with her right to express her religion.
Held: The school’s appeal succeeded. The school had acted responsibly and carefully seeking to balance and respect several interests when making their policy. The policy allowed the wearing of the shalwar kameeze. Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: ‘the purpose of the Human Rights Act 1998 was not to enlarge the rights or remedies of those in the United Kingdom whose Convention rights have been violated but to enable those rights and remedies to be asserted and enforced by the domestic courts of this country and not only by recourse to Strasbourg.’ If the school’s policy did infringe the claimant’s human rights, that interference was proportionate.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: ‘the school was in my opinion fully justified in acting as it did. It had taken immense pains to devise a uniform policy which respected Muslim beliefs but did so in an inclusive, unthreatening and uncompetitive way. The rules laid down were as far from being mindless as uniform rules could ever be. The school had enjoyed a period of harmony and success to which the uniform policy was thought to contribute. On further enquiry it still appeared that the rules were acceptable to mainstream Muslim opinion. It was feared that acceding to the respondent’s request would or might have significant adverse repercussions. It would in my opinion be irresponsible of any court, lacking the experience, background and detailed knowledge of the head teacher, staff and governors, to overrule their judgment on a matter as sensitive as this. The power of decision has been given to them for the compelling reason that they are best placed to exercise it.’
Lord Bingham considered the nature of proportionality under Human Rights law: ‘it is clear that the court’s approach to an issue of proportionality under the Convention must go beyond that traditionally adopted to judicial review in a domestic setting . . There is no shift to a merits review, but the intensity of review is greater than was previously appropriate, and greater even than the heightened scrutiny test . . The domestic court must now make a value judgment, an evaluation, by reference to the circumstances prevailing at the relevant time . . Proportionality must be judged objectively, by the court . .’
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Scott of Foscote, Baroness Hale of Richmond
 UKHL 15, Times 23-Mar-2006,  2 WLR 719,  1 AC 100,  2 All ER 487,  HRLR 21,  1 FCR 613,  UKHRR 708
European Convention on Human Rights 9, Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
At First Instance – Begum, Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School Admn 15-Jun-2004
A schoolgirl complained that she had been excluded from school for wearing a form of attire which accorded with her Muslim beliefs.
Held: The school had made great efforts to establish what forms of wear were acceptable within the moslem . .
Appeal from – SB, Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School CA 2-Mar-2005
The applicant, a Muslim girl sought to be allowed to wear the gilbab to school. The school policy which had been approved by Muslim clerics prohibited this, saying the shalwar kameeze and headscarf were sufficient. The school said she was making a . .
Cited – X v Denmark ECHR 1976
Admissibility decision – state interference in appointment of clergyman. A clergyman was held to have accepted the discipline of his church when he took employment, and his right to leave the church guaranteed his freedom of religion. . .
Cited – Kjeldsen, Busk, Madsen and Peddersen v Denmark ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The claimants challenged the provision of compulsory sex education in state primary schools.
Held: The parents’ philosophical and religious objections to sex education in state schools was rejected on the ground that they could send their . .
Cited – Sahin v Turkey ECHR 6-Dec-2005
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – Violation of Art. 6-1; No separate issue under Art. 6; Violation of Art. 10; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention . .
Cited – Copsey v WWB Devon Clays Ltd CA 25-Jul-2005
The claimant said that his employer had failed to respect his right to express his beliefs by obliging him, though a Christian, to work on Sundays.
Held: The appeal failed. ‘The Commission’s position on Article 9, as I understand it, is that, . .
Cited – Ahmad v United Kingdom ECHR 1981
(Commision) The applicant was a devout Muslim. His religious duty was to offer prayers on Fridays and to attend a mosque if possible. He was employed as a full time primary school teacher. He complained that he was forced to resign because he was . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for Education and Employment and others ex parte Williamson and others HL 24-Feb-2005
The appellants were teachers in Christian schools who said that the blanket ban on corporal punishment interfered with their religious freedom. They saw moderate physical discipline as an essential part of educating children in a Christian manner. . .
Cited – Greenfield, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Feb-2005
The appellant had been charged with and disciplined for a prison offence. He was refused legal assistance at his hearing, and it was accepted that the proceedings involved the determination of a criminal charge within the meaning of article 6 of the . .
Cited – Karaduman v Turkey ECHR 1993
(Commission) The applicant had been refused a certificate of graduation because the school required a photograph of her without a headscarf and she was unwilling for religious reasons to be photographed without a headscarf.
Held: There had . .
Cited – Regina on the Application of Goldsmith v The London Borough of Wandsworth CA 27-Aug-2004
The claimant, a very elderly lady had lived in a residential home for some time. She fell and was admitted to hospital. The respondent said she could only leave the hospital to go to a nursing home. She and her family sought her return to the . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for Defence Ex Parte Smith; Regina v Same Ex Parte Grady Etc CA 6-Nov-1995
A ban on homosexuals serving in the armed forces was not irrational, and the challenge to the ban failed. The greater the policy content of a decision, and the more remote the subject matter of a decision from ordinary judicial experience, the more . .
Cited – Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
Cited – Konttinen v Finland ECHR 3-Dec-1996
(Commission) The applicant was a civil servant and a Seventh-day Adventist. He was dismissed for his refusal to continue working after sunset on Fridays. His contract required him to work on Friday evenings after sunset.
Held: The claim was . .
Cited – Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Aston Cantlow and Wilmcote with Billesley, Warwickshire v Wallbank and another HL 26-Jun-2003
Parish Councils are Hybrid Public Authorities
The owners of glebe land were called upon as lay rectors to contribute to the cost of repairs to the local church. They argued that the claim was unlawful by section 6 of the 1998 Act as an act by a public authority incompatible with a Convention . .
Cited – Regina (CD and ADR) v Secretary of State for the Home Department QBD 17-Jan-2003
The applicant challenged the decision to separate her from her child whilst she was in prison.
Held: such a separation engaged her article 8 Human Rights, and she must be allowed representation when a decision was made. The Prison Service . .
Cited – Allan Samaroo v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 18-Sep-2001
A civil court of appeal has power to hear an application for bail in the course of a judicial review of a committal to custody under the Act pending deportation. Though the applicant could have sought habeas corpus, the court could exercise a . .
Cited – Valsamis v Greece ECHR 18-Dec-1996
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) No violation of Art. 3; No violation of Art. 9; No violation of P1-2; Violation of Art. 13+P1-2; Violation of Art. 13+9; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation . .
Cited – Kalac v Turkey ECHR 1-Jul-1997
In exercising his freedom to manifest his beliefs an individual ‘may need to take his specific situation into account.’ ‘The Commission recalls that the expression ‘in accordance with the law’, within the meaning of Article 9(2), requires first that . .
Cited – Samaroo and Sezek v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 17-Jul-2001
Two foreign nationals with leave to remain in this country committed serious crimes. The Secretary of State ordered their deportation.
Held: Where the deportation of a foreigner following a conviction here, would conflict with his human . .
Cited – Regina (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 23-May-2001
A prison policy requiring prisoners not to be present when their property was searched and their mail was examined was unlawful. The policy had been introduced after failures in search procedures where officers had been intimidated by the presence . .
Cited – Jewish Liturgical Association Cha’are Shalom Ve Tsedek v France ECHR 27-Jun-2000
The applicants, ultra-orthodox jews, challenged the regulation of ritual slaughter in France, which did not satisfy their exacting religious standards.
Held: The applicants’ right to freedom of expression was not limited by the controls on the . .
Cited – Christian Education South Africa v Minister of Education 2001
(South African Constitutional Court) The court emphasised the fundamental importance of the right to express one’s religion in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society.
Sachs J observed: ‘The underlying problem in any open and democratic society . .
Cited – Chapman v United Kingdom; similar ECHR 18-Jan-2001
The question arose as to the refusal of planning permission and the service of an enforcement notice against Mrs Chapman who wished to place her caravan on a plot of land in the Green Belt. The refusal of planning permission and the enforcement . .
Cited – Spiers v Warrington Corporation 1954
Lord Goddard CJ said: ‘The headmistress did not suspend this child at all. She was always perfectly willing to take her in; all that she wanted was that she should be properly dressed. Suspending is refusing to admit to the school; in this case the . .
Cited – Kontinnen v Finland 1996
(Commission) The applicant, Tuomo Kottinnen worked on the Finnish Railways. After five years he became a Seventh Day Adventist and declared that he could not work after sunset on Fridays. After several incidents when he left with the early setting . .
Cited – Ali v Head Teacher and Governors of Lord Grey School HL 22-Mar-2006
The claimant had been accused with others of arson to school property. He was suspended for the maximum forty five day period. The school then invited the family to discuss arrangements to return to the school, but the family did not attend. After . .
Cited – Regina v Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Kebilene and others HL 28-Oct-1999
(Orse Kebeline) The DPP’s appeal succeeded. A decision by the DPP to authorise a prosecution could not be judicially reviewed unless dishonesty, bad faith, or some other exceptional circumstance could be shown. A suggestion that the offence for . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex parte Anderson HL 25-Nov-2002
The appellant had been convicted of double murder. The judge imposed a mandatory life sentence with a minimum recommended term. The Home Secretary had later increased the minimum term under the 1997 Act. The appellant challenged that increase.
Cited – Lisa Smith, Regina (on the Application of) v South Norfolk Council Admn 10-Nov-2006
The claimant gypsies had bought and moved onto land in Norfolk and stayed there in breach of planning enforcement notices. The inspector upheld the notices, but advised the Council of the difficulties in finding sites and had stayed enforcement for . .
Cited – X, Regina (on the Application of) v Y School Admn 21-Feb-2007
The court was asked whether a school was entitled to refuse to allow a Muslim girl to wear the niqab full face veil at school. The reasons were ‘first educational factors resulting from a teacher being unable to see the face of the girl with a . .
Cited – L, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Another CA 1-Mar-2007
The court considered the proper content of an enhanced criminal record certificate. The claimant said that it should contain only matter relating to actual or potential criminal activity.
Held: As to the meaning of section 115: ‘if Parliament . .
Cited – Belfast City Council v Miss Behavin’ Ltd HL 25-Apr-2007
Belfast had failed to license sex shops. The company sought review of the decision not to grant a licence.
Held: The council’s appeal succeeded. The refusal was not a denial of the company’s human rights: ‘If article 10 and article 1 of . .
Cited – Suryananda, Regina (on the Application of) v The Welsh Ministers Admn 16-Jul-2007
The claimants, trustees of a Hindu temple, sought judicial review of a decision that a bullock in their temple should be slaughtered having positively reacted to a test for bovine tuberculosis bacterium. They said that the animal posed no threat . .
Cited – Somerville v Scottish Ministers HL 24-Oct-2007
The claimants complained of their segregation while in prison. Several preliminary questions were to be decided: whether damages might be payable for breach of a Convention Right; wheher the act of a prison governor was the act of the executive; . .
Cited – Watkins-Singh, Regina (on the Application of) v The Governing Body of Aberdare Girls’ High School and Another Admn 29-Jul-2008
Miss Singh challenged her school’s policy which operated to prevent her wearing while at school a steel bangle, a Kara. She said this was part of her religion as a Sikh.
Held: Earlier comparable applications had been made under human rights . .
Cited – Re E (A Child); E v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Another (Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and others intervening) HL 12-Nov-2008
(Northern Ireland) Children had been taken to school in the face of vehement protests from Loyalists. The parents complained that the police had failed to protect them properly, since the behaviour was so bad as to amount to inhuman or degrading . .
Cited – T-Mobile (Uk) Ltd. and Another v Office of Communications CA 12-Dec-2008
The claimant telecoms companies objected to a proposed scheme for future licensing of available spectrum. The scheme anticipated a bias in favour of auctioniung such content. It was not agreed whether any challenge to the decision should be by way . .
Cited – Secretary of State for the Home Department v Nasseri HL 6-May-2009
The applicant had claimed asylum after fleeing Afghanistan to Greece and then to the UK. On the failure of his application, he would be returned to Greece, but objected that he would thence be returned to Afghanistan where his human rights would be . .
Cited – Ladele v London Borough of Islington CA 15-Dec-2009
The appellant was employed as a registrar. She refused to preside at same sex partnership ceremonies, saying that they conflicted with her Christian beliefs.
Held: The council’s decision had clearly disadvantaged the claimant, and the question . .
Cited – McFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd EAT 30-Nov-2009
EAT RELIGION OR BELIEF DISCRIMINATION
UNFAIR DISMISSAL – Reason for dismissal
Christian counsellor dismissed by Relate for failing to give an unequivocal commitment to counsel same-sex couples.
Cited – Eweida v British Airways Plc CA 12-Feb-2010
The court was asked whether, by adopting a staff dress code which forbade the wearing of visible neck adornment and so prevented the appellant, a Christian, from wearing with her uniform a small, visible cross, British Airways (BA) indirectly . .
Cited – Gaunt v OFCOM and Liberty QBD 13-Jul-2010
The claimant, a radio presenter sought judicial review of the respondent’s finding (against the broadcaster) that a radio interview he had conducted breached the Broadcasting Code. He had strongly criticised a proposal to ban smokers from being . .
Cited – Hall and Others v Mayor of London (on Behalf of The Greater London Authority) CA 16-Jul-2010
The appellants sought leave to appeal against an order for possession of Parliament Square on which the claimants had been conducting a demonstration (‘the Democracy Village’).
Held: Leave was refused save for two appellants whose cases were . .
Cited – Bashir, Regina (on The Application of) v The Independent Adjudicator Admn 25-May-2011
The prisoner was a muslim and fasting as part of his religious observance. He sought judicial review of a decision that he was in breach of the Rules when unable to provide a urine sample for a drugs test. He would have had to break his fast to . .
Cited – Quila and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Oct-2011
Parties challenged the rule allowing the respondent to deny the right to enter or remain here to non EU citizens marrying a person settled and present here where either party was under the age of 21. The aim of the rule was to deter forced . .
Cited – National Secular Society and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Bideford Town Council Admn 10-Feb-2012
The claimant challenged the placing of a prayer on the agenda of the respondent’s meetings.
Held: The claim succeeded. The placing of such elements on the Agenda was outside the powers given to the Council, and the action was ultra vires: . .
Cited – City of London v Samede and Others QBD 18-Jan-2012
The claimant sought an order for possession of land outside St Paul’s cathedral occupied by the protestor defendants, consisting of ‘a large number of tents, between 150 and 200 at the time of the hearing, many of them used by protestors, either . .
Cited – Eweida And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Jan-2013
The named claimant had been employed by British Airways. She was a committed Christian and wished to wear a small crucifix on a chain around her neck. This breached the then dress code and she was dismissed. Her appeals had failed. Other claimants . .
Cited – O’Brien v Ministry of Justice SC 6-Feb-2013
The appellant, a part time recorder challenged his exclusion from pension arrangements.
Held: The appeal was allowed. No objective justification has been shown for departing from the basic principle of remunerating part-timers pro rata . .
Cited – Birks, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 25-Sep-2014
The claimant police officer sought judicial review of a decision to continue his suspension. He had been investigated and cleared after a death in custody. He sought to join the Church of England Ministry and was offered a post. He was re-assured . .
Cited – Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Nov-2014
The claimant had supported the grant of a visa to a woman in order to speak to members of Parliament who was de facto leader of an Iranian organsation which had in the past supported terrorism and had been proscribed in the UK, but that proscription . .
Cited – Brewster, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 8-Feb-2017
Survivor of unmarried partner entitled to pension
The claimant appealed against the rejection of her claim to the survivor’s pension after the death of her longstanding partner, even though they had not been married. The rules said that she had to have been nominated by her partner, but he had not . .
Cited – MM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State and Another SC 22-Feb-2017
Challenge to rules requiring certain minimum levels of income (Minimum Income Requirement – MIR) for allowing entry for non-EEA spouse.
Held: The challenges udder the Human Rights Act to the Rules themselves failed. Nor did any separate issue . .
Cited – Tigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills SC 29-Jul-2015
After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Discrimination, Education, Human Rights
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.239351