Benedetta Barbisan

«Living Together» in the Shadow of the Veil

  • Abstract

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The article takes as a starting point the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case "S.A.S. v. France" to analyze the terms and implications of the ban on wearing the Islamic veil as decreed by French laws. After having reviewed the "iter" that led to the approval of the measure in question, the reasons are examined in depth for which, in the opinion of the European Court, such a prohibition is justified in light of the need to preserve the reasons for 'living together'. The analysis of the decision is functional for exploring certain issues of general importance that regard the extension of the right to private life respect enshrined in Art. 8 of the Convention, which in the author's view rises to paradigm of our legal civilization. They are the role the margin of appreciation applied by the Court vis-à-vis the national legislator and the political will on which it is instrumental; the proper balance between interests of the majority and demands of the minorities; and, finally, the public space reserved in our societies for religious events, symbols of belonging and different identities.

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