Research Paper Number
Supreme; Court; Canada; Trial; Niqab; Accommodate; Muslim
In 2008, a woman entered an Ontario courtroom to give evidence at a preliminary inquiry involving childhood sexual assault charges against her uncle and cousin. She sought to testify while wearing a niqab, a garment that conceals the entire head and face, leaving only an opening for the eyes. The court was asked to decide the novel question whether it could accommodate the Muslim veil in a system of justice that provided the accused with a right to face his accuser. The Supreme Court of Canada divided three ways, with justices disagreeing deeply both about the analysis for determining whether to permit a witness to wear the niqab, and the values and interests at play in this analysis.
Bhabha, Faisal, "R v. NS: What's Fair in a Trial? The Supreme Court of Canada's Divided Decision on the Niqab in the Courtroom" (2014). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Series. 75.