Germany's highest court on Thursday upheld a ban against a Muslim legal trainee wearing a headscarf while performing certain official tasks.
In a 7-1 decision, the Federal Constitutional Court said that while the ban does interfere with the woman's freedom of religion, it is justified in order to uphold a law that calls for "neutral conduct" by legal trainees when it comes to ideological and religious matters.
Under the law in the state of Hesse, the woman is allowed to wear a headscarf while sitting in a courtroom among observers, but cannot follow proceedings from the bench, lead any courtroom sessions or take evidence.
In a separate opinion, the one dissenting judge said the ban "amounts to a serious interference" to both the woman's religious freedom and her training as a lawyer since she has no alternative in pursuing her career but to go through the state-mandated training system.
There is no nationwide ban against civil servants from wearing headscarves in Germany, with rules varying from state to state.