Dec 212012

Written by Reuters, 20 December 2012

Judges should decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether women can wear the niqab, a full-face veil, while testifying in court, but a blanket rule on the issue would be “untenable,” Canada’s top court ruled this morning.

“Two sets of Charter rights are potentially engaged — the witness’s freedom of religion and the accused’s fair trial rights, including the right to make full answer and defence. An extreme approach that would always require the witness to remove her niqab while testifying, or one that would never do so, is untenable,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin for the majority in R. v. N.S.

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