French administrative law in the face of parents accompanying school trips: Issues of individual categories and reflection on the justifications of the laicity regime

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Abstract

Laicity has found a new area of expression in school trips. Are accompanying parents falling under its regime ? Should they have the right to wear religious symbols ? Political power has dithered, switching its answer along majority changes. Courts have either described the law on related matters, or brought different responses while ensuring to limit their scope. This indecisiveness can obviously be understood in the light of the political context and of the social sensitivity around religious issues. However it can also be explained from a legal point of view. The structure of the French administrative legal system does not appear strong enough to tackle the issue in a parsimonious way, ie without further questioning its operation at the same time. This article aims first of all to demonstrate this fragility. It attempts to identify an answer looking at the regime of existing individual categories, showing that in any case a response would elicit wider questions. Splitting in two the category of “collaborator of the public service” might offer a solution, but such an effort could also put into question the administrative legal system, notably regarding the relation between the laicity regime and the principles that are deemed to base administrative law.
Translated title of the contributionFrench administrative law in the face of parents accompanying school trips: Issues of individual categories and reflection on the justifications of the laicity regime
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalRevue des Droits de l'Homme
Volume17
Early online date10 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • legal system
  • legal categories
  • French administrative law
  • religious freedom
  • laicity
  • education law

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