First test of Canada Supreme Court's face-veil rule imminent

April 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM
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TORONTO, April 19 (UPI) -- A Toronto judge said he will decide soon if the alleged victim of a sexual assault, a Muslim woman, can testify in court with her face veiled.

Justice Norris Weisman promised a decision in the case expected to begin April 29. He was the judge who, six years ago, ordered the Toronto woman, known only as N.S., to remove her niqab, or veil, as she testified against defendants she accused of sexually assaulting and abusing her, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

Wesiman's order, that she must remove the veil during testimony, was appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court, which handed down a split decision in December 2012, returning the order back to individual trial judges to determine on a case-by-case basis.

A long way from the Supreme Court, the imminent and potentially important legal precedent will come in a courtroom in north Toronto whose building shares space with a chicken restaurant and a catering company, the CBC noted.

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