Ontario court rules Muslim women may keep their niqabs while testifying

Trial judges can order the veils removed only if it undermines accused's right to a fair

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled Muslim women wearing a niqab will not necessarily have to remove the veil when testifying in court unless the trial judge believes it could jeopardize the accused’s right to a fair trial. “There is no getting around the reality that in some cases, particularly those involving trial by jury where a witness’s credibility is central to the outcome, a judge will have a difficult decision to make,” the court said in its ruling. The decision comes months after a woman was ordered to bare her face during a preliminary inquiry, an order challenged by her lawyer. The Court of Appeal has now sent the case back to the lower court, saying the preliminary inquiry judge will have to hear arguments regarding the woman’s religious beliefs before making a decision.

CTV News

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