Keywords: Full-Face Veil; Anti-Burqa Law; Living Together; Women's Rights; Margin of Appreciation; Religious and Cultural Differences.
The judgement of the European Court of Human Rights on the case "S.A.S. v. France" is a turning point in the debate on the full-face veiling - and, more generally, on the respect for religious and cultural differences - in European democracies. Nonetheless, it seems to be deeply problematic. In particular, as far as the Court avoids to take satisfactorily into account the problems related to both the concept of «living together» and the question of women's rights, it actually seems to give up the task of checking whether the national policy-maker did strike a reasonable balance between public goals and individual rights. Pointing out some of the most challenging criticisms raised by the judgement, the present article maintains that the recognition of an excessive margin of appreciation to states threatens the ability of the Court to comply with its duty to protect minorities from disproportionate state interference.