Canada – ‘Judges may order Witnesses to Remove Niqab’
Toronto: A Muslim woman who is the complainant in a sexual assault trial in Toronto has lost her bid before Canada’s top court to have an unimpeded right to wear her niqab while testifying. In a split Supreme Court of Canada decision on December 27, the seven judges largely upheld a lower court’s ruling that the woman to protect her identity under a court-ordered publication ban, may have to remove her niqab.
The woman, known as N.S.in the court, appealed to the Supreme Court arguing her sincere religious beliefs meant that her face must be covered before all males who are not close relatives. Lawyers for the two men accused of sexually assaulting her when she was a child argued that a fair and open trial means the face of a witness must be seen because facial cues are important to establish credibility.