Apr 24, 2013
By Michael Kramer
A judge has again ordered a Muslim woman to remove her niqab when testifying at a preliminary hearing for two men she alleges sexually assaulted her.
It’s the second time Ontario Court Justice Norris Weisman has ruled that “N.S.” as she’s known in court by her initials should remove the face covering when testifying in court.
In 2008, justice Weisman ruled the woman should be required to testify with her face bare. That decision was appealed to two higher courts before landing in the Supreme Court, which sent the case back to Weisman last year.
The complainant is now 37 years-old and alleges she was sexually abused as a child by an uncle and another man.
Last week the Supreme Court said a judge’s decision on whether to allow the niqab face-covering must be made on a case-by-case basis – and judges should consider four questions before making a decision, including whether permitting a witness to wear a niqab would create a serious risk to the fairness of the trial.