UCL Faculty of Laws


Religious symbols at work and EU Law: The recent ruling on hijabs in the workplace

17 May 2017, 2:30 pm–6:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL European Institute


UCL Cruciform Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

An event organised by UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL European Institute

The Court of Justice of the European Union has made its first major ruling on the compatibility with EU law of rulings banning the wearing of religious symbols at work.

This ruling has been highly controversial and is of significant importance for the law in a wide range of areas.

On 17 May 2017, the UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL European Institute will bring together a range of experts in the areas of EU constitutional law, law and religion, discrimination law and labour law to discuss this judgment from a wide range of perspectives.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Oliver Gerstenburg, Senior Lecturer in EU Law, UCL Faculty of Laws
  • Dr. Myriam Hunter-Henin, Reader in Law and Religion, UCL Faculty of Laws
  • Dr. Tarun Khaitan, Associate Professor of Discrimination Law, University of Oxford
  • Prof. Maleiha Malik, Professor of Discrimination Law, Kings College London
  • Prof. Aileen McColgan, Professor of Law Kings College London and Barrister, Matrix Chambers.
  • Dr. Ronan McCrea, Senior Lecturer in EU Law and Law and Religion, UCL Faculty of Laws
  • Prof. Colm O’Cinneide, Professor of Human Rights Law, UCL Faculty of Laws
  • Prof. Eleanor Spaventa, Professor of EU Law and Gender and Law, University of Durham

Learning Outcomes

This event will allow participants to understand this key ruling from a number of perspectives, specifically:

  • How rules on religious dress and requirements of neutrality interact with the idea of a “genuine occupational requirement” in EU employment legislation.
  • How the issue of discrimination on grounds of religion fits into the overall approach of the EU’s legal order to the relationship between religion, law and state.
  • The interaction between the right to religious freedom and discrimination on grounds of religion and belief.
  • The influence of the right under the Charter of Fundamental Rights to carry on a business on issues of religious freedom at work.
  • The scope for indirectly discriminatory rules to be justified by the principle of religious neutrality.