Ghana’s High Court on Right to Religious Freedom and Manifestation

Ghana’s High Court on Right to Religious Freedom and Manifestations

An interesting judgment comes from the High Court of Ghana [“Court”] wherein the Court upheld the applicant’s ‘right to Religious freedom and manifestation’. The applicant is a Rastafarian by religion. According to the applicant, Rastafarianism is a religious movement that combines ‘protestant Christianity, mysticism and a pan-African political consciousness’. One of the key tenants/beliefs of the Rastafarian religion is wearing ‘dreadlocks.’ The applicant was refused admission to school in Ghana. He was made to stand separately during the admission process because he was wearing ‘dreadlocks’ which was apparently against the rules and regulations of the school management (which says “students must keep their hair low, simple and natural”). The question before the Court was whether the applicant has a right to manifest his religion. If yes, then are the rules and regulations of the school goes against his right to religious freedom and its manifestation or the school is justified in imposing this restriction? 

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