Lawyer 2B readers endorse judge’s niqab ruling

Lawyer2B readers have endorsed a judge’s ruling that a Muslim woman should remove her niqab while giving evidence. 

Judge Peter Murphy ruled the woman would have to show her face to the judge, jury and legal counsel when giving evidence, though not during the rest of the trial, saying: “The ability of the jury to see the defendant for the purposes of evaluating her evidence is crucial.”

Responding to a Lawyer2B poll, just over half of readers (52.1 per cent) agreed that the judge made the right call and that the decision that the veil should be removed when she was giving evidence, though not during the rest of the trial, was a fair balance between the rights of the woman and the needs of the court.

A further 36.6 per cent believed the judge didn’t go far enough and that the niqab should not be worn during any part of the trial.

The remaining 11.1 per cent thought that the judge went too far and that the woman shouldn’t have been forced to remove her veil at all.