Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WOULD NIQAB BE ACCEPTABLE ON THE BENCH?



The wearing of the niqab in public places has been a newsworthy subject in the last weeks. In particular there was the decision regarding a witness in a recent case at crown court. I have many female Muslim colleagues and only one have I seen wearing a hijab (Muslim headscarf). A very small minority of those female and apparently Muslim by name lawyers who appear before us wears a hijab. There is absolutely no question as to their right to do so. 



My point today is whether or not Appointment Committees have a policy if faced with an application by a woman who wears a niqab. Would wearing such on the bench be acceptable both to colleagues and to the court and all its users?

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