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 niqab; second the importance of a uniform policy as promoting ‘uniformity and an ethos of equality and cohesion’; third security; and finally avoiding applying pressure on girls to wear a niqab. ‘ The girl had reached puberty, and it was in accordance with her own genuinely held religious belief that she should wear the niqab if taught by male teachers. Her elder sisters had been allowed to wear the niqab.
Held: The girl’s claim failed. The rule was accessible and precise and had been communicated to the claimant. None of the bodies and people consulted about the policy had said there was a requirement to wear a niqab. The only girl at the shool who had worn the niqab in recent years was the claimant’s elder sister whilst in the sixth form, but the sixth form did not have a uniform policy. Any legitimate expectation was not excluded by the 1998 and 2002 Acts which were merely permissive. The policy was within an area where the school enjoyed a discretion. There was no practice upon which any claim for a legitimate expectation might be based.


Silber J


[2007] EWHC 298 (Admin), [2008] 1 All ER 249




European Convention on Human Rights 9, Education Act 2002 21(1), School Standards and Framework Act 1998 38(1)


England and Wales


CitedBradley v Jockey Club QBD 2004
The former jockey sought an injunction to restrain the respondent enforcing a ban it had imposed on him from working as a jockey for five years. The defendant had previously been ruled authoritatively not to be amenable to judicial review in public . .
CitedBradley v The Jockey Club CA 12-Jul-2005
The Jockey had been disqualified from riding for five years for breaches of the club’s rules. He said the punishment was disproportionate in effectively preventing him working for a living.
Held: The appeal failed, and the judge’s analysis was . .
CitedRegina v Camden London Borough Council Ex Parte Cran and Others QBD 25-Jan-1995
A designation of an area as a controlled parking area was vitiated by the failure of the Local Authority to consult locally. The court expanded on the principles for consultation set out in Gunning: ‘What kind and amount of consultation is required . .
CitedKonttinen 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 . .
CitedValsamis 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 . .
CitedSahin And Surgec v Turkey ECHR 31-Oct-2006
‘The court reiterates its settled case-law that the expression ‘prescribed by law’ requires first that the impugned measure should have a basis in domestic law. It also refers to the quality of the law in question, requiring that it be accessible to . .
CitedStedman v United Kingdom ECHR 9-Apr-1997
(Commission) The applicant alleged that her dismissal for refusal to work on Sundays constituted a violation of her freedom to manifest her religion in worship, practice and observance, contrary to Article 9.
Held: The Commission first had to . .
CitedBegum (otherwise SB), Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School HL 22-Mar-2006
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 . .
CitedRegina 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. . .
CitedJewish 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 . .
CitedRegina (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 . .
CitedBradley v Jockey Club QBD 2004
The former jockey sought an injunction to restrain the respondent enforcing a ban it had imposed on him from working as a jockey for five years. The defendant had previously been ruled authoritatively not to be amenable to judicial review in public . .
CitedSamaroo 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 . .
CitedLeyla Sahin v Turkey ECHR 29-Jun-2004
(Grand Chamber) The applicant had been denied access to written examinations and to a lecture at the University of Istanbul because she was wearing an Islamic headscarf. This was prohibited not only by the rules of the university but also by the . .
CitedCouncil of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service HL 22-Nov-1984
Exercise of Prerogative Power is Reviewable
The House considered an executive decision made pursuant to powers conferred by a prerogative order. The Minister had ordered employees at GCHQ not to be members of trades unions.
Held: The exercise of a prerogative power of a public nature . .
CitedRegina (Nadarajah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Abdi v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 22-Nov-2005
The asylum applicant challenged a certificate given by the respondent that the claim for asylum was manifestly ill-founded. The respondent had made a mistake in applying the appropriate policy, but had sought to correct the error. The claimants . .
CitedMatadeen and others v M G C Pointu and others (Mauritius) PC 18-Feb-1998
It is a well recognised canon of construction that domestic legislation, including the Constitution, should if possible be construed so as to conform to international instruments to which the state is party. Lord Hoffmann said: ‘of course persons . .

Cited by:

CitedWatkins-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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Education, Discrimination, Human Rights

Updated: 28 May 2022; Ref: scu.248949