The Headscarf Controversy: A Response to Jill Marshall

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This paper argues that Article 8 of the ECHR, as applied to the protection of a person’s right to wear a headscarf, is an inappropriate locus for thrashing out arguments about the right to protection of religious freedom, and that Article 9 allows for a broader legal and political analysis of the multiple meanings and impacts of religion in our lives. However, the law should not prohibit women from wearing the headscarf. Legal regulation of the headscarf should be replaced with robust political debate about the many diverse and intersecting ways in which it is possible to experience womanhood, sexuality, culture, religion, race, nationality and economic security in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages8
JournalRes Publica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Autonomy
  • Feminist jurisprudence
  • Freedom to manifest one's religious belief
  • Headscarves
  • Identity
  • Islamic law
  • Right to respect for private and family life


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