Leyla §ahin was a Muslim student at Istanbul University in Turkey who was excluded from classes because she wore a headscarf, as required by her Muslim faith. A Turkish law banned the wearing of headscarves in all universities and official government buildings, basing the proscription on the fact that Turkey is a secular state. In 1998, Leyla filed a complaint under the European system for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. 1 Ultimately, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights decided in favour of Turkey. It decided that the headscarf ban was based on the constitutional principles of secularism and equality, and consequently did not constitute a violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Grand Chamber further decided that her suspension from the university for refusing to remove the headscarf did not amount to a violation of the European Convention. 2 Ms §ahin subsequently left Turkey and is now living in Vienna.