Australian judge delivers verdict on burqas in court

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Western Australian district court judge Shauna Deane has found that a Muslim woman must remove her burqa in order to testify with regard to an Islamic school's alleged receiving of state and federal government funding in a fraudulent manner.

The woman, identified only as 'Tasneem', was deemed unable to wear her traditional coverings despite feeling uncomfortable removing them in public. Judge Shauna Deane found that it would not be suitable for 'Tasneem' to offer evidence with her face covered, stating that the need to maintain a fair trial is consistent with allowing the jury to view and interpret cues from the face of a witness.

The judge went on to say that her findings should not set a precedent for future cases and that any future rulings regarding the facial and head coverings should be based on the independent findings of the judge hearing the case.