Women's right to autonomy and identity in European Human Rights Law: manifesting one's religion

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Freedom of religious expression is to many a fundamental element of their identity. Yet the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on the Islamic headscarf issue does not refer to autonomy and identity rights of the individual women claimants. The case law focuses on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides a legal human right to freedom of religious expression. The way that provision is interpreted is critically contrasted here with the right to personal autonomy and identity now developed by that court in interpreting Article 8 which contains a right to respect one’s private life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
JournalRes Publica
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Autonomy
  • identity
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • Religion
  • Islamic headscarf
  • gender equality

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