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Niqab in court: Veil doesn't block 'demeanour assessment,' court told
by Betsy Powell
Forcing a Muslim woman to remove her veil to testify in court is inconsistent with the long-standing Canadian approach to respect an individual's religious belief and accommodate it if possible, lawyer David Butt told a judge Tuesday.
Butt, who represents sexual assault complainant N.S., is asking Ontario Court Justice Norris Weisman to reverse his 2008 decision requiring her to testify without the face-covering after he concluded that her religious beliefs were not that strong.
Weisman's decision was appealed and went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In December, the country's highest court sent it back to Weisman and told courts to apply a four-part, case-by-case balancing test when religious and trial fairness Charter rights are in play.
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