Religious symbols ban remains for judges and clerks


The Dutch judiciary announced on Tuesday that headscarves and other clothing indicating religious beliefs will remain banned for judges and clerks, reports the Parool.

In May, the Human Rights Protection board ruled that Rotterdam court discriminated against a Muslim woman who had applied for a clerical job but was rejected. She had said she would not remove her headscarf during court sessions because of her faith.

But the Dutch judicial organisation maintains that judges and clerks must wear neutral clothing. ‘Inside the judiciary, the convention applies that judges and clerks should in no way demonstrate their own beliefs, in court and in their handling of legal cases,’ it stated on its website.

‘Judges and clerks wear a gown during hearings, symbolising the judiciary’s impartiality and independence…gowns are strictly enforced, and judges and clerks cannot combine them with signs of their belief or personal philosophy, such as a kippah [Jewish skullcap], headscarf or cross.’

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