The Right to Testify in Niqab in a Sexual Assault Case

Working Paper: The Right to Testify in Niqab in a Sexual Assault Case

Date: June 2012    

Author: Lina Khatib, MPA

The recent case of N.S. v. R involves a sexual assault complainant who wears a niqab, or face veil, which covers her entire face except for her eyes. The question before the Supreme Court of Canada is whether or not N.S. can testify in a Canadian court while wearing her niqab.

This policy brief argues that N.S. should be entitled to wear her niqab. In very exceptional circumstances, if the judge finds that the niqab hinders the fair trial process, N.S.’ religious requirement should be accommodated by the courts to the fullest extent possible.

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