Doing Minority Justice Through Procedural Fairness: Face Veil Bans in Europe

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Saïla Ouald Chaib a) b)

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Eva Brems a) b)

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The French and Belgian bans on face veils in public places have been subjected to strong substantive human rights critiques. This article takes a complementary approach, examining the bans from the perspective of procedural fairness. Indeed, the French and Belgian bans are extreme examples of legislative processes taking place above the heads of the people concerned, neglecting the ban’s possible human rights impact. After exploring what the social psychology notion of procedural fairness entails for the judiciary and the legislator, especially in a multicultural context, this article details procedural fairness shortcomings with respect to the face veil ban in France and Belgium. Subsequently, the article sets out how the European Court of Human Rights might compensate for these shortcomings.

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