Nobody's Law pp 87-108 | Cite as

A School Director and Non-discrimination Law

  • Marc Hertogh
Part of the Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies book series (PSLS)


The first case study examines how a school director, the general public and legal professionals in the Netherlands move away from non-discrimination law. The chapter focuses on a ruling by the Equal Treatment Commission, which stated that a public school was wrong to suspend a female Muslim teacher who refused to shake hands with men. The chapter argues that the public controversy following this decision illustrates the way in which non-discrimination law matters in the Netherlands. The empirical research shows that the school director and many other ordinary people feel disconnected from non-discrimination law. Most people in this case study are ‘cynics’ and ‘outsiders’, with some signs of ‘legal meaninglessness’ and ‘legal powerlessness’ but with a strong sense of ‘legal cynicism’ and ‘legal value isolation’.


Schools Non-discrimination law Equal treatment Muslim 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of LawUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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