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Campbell and Cosans v. UK, judgment of 25 Feb 1982, Series A no 48, 4 EHRR 293, 40

Facts: Jeffrey Cosans, aged 15, was suspended from his school when he refused to accept corporal punishment.Two Scottish mothers, Mrs Grace Campbell and Mrs Jane Cosans alleged that corporal punishment used in their sonsí schools was contrary to article 3

Holding: the European Court found that the UK was in breach of the European Convention by not respecting parentsí objections to school corporal punishment and that there had been a violation of article 2 of Protocol No.1 when the boys were suspended from school.

Reasoning: As neither boy had in fact received corporal punishment, this allegation was rejected by the Court. But it found that the UK had failed to respect the parentsí philosophical convictions. Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the Convention states: "No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the rights of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions". The Court found that Jeffrey Cosans had been denied his right to education when he was suspended from his school.


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