|Demand: Judge Peter Murphy said |
the Muslim defendant must remove
her burkha in the courtroom
because the principle of open justice
overrode the 21-year-old woman's
British Judge orders Muslim woman to remove burkha during court appearance then bans her from entering plea after she refuses
- Judge Peter Murphy said open justice overrides religious belief in court
- Woman, 21, said she cannot remove her veil in front of men at all
- Judge said there is a risk someone could pretend to be her in the dock
- Case adjourned so lawyers can argue whether the defendant must remove her veil
- Defendant, who cannot be named, is charged with intimidating a witness
Judge Murphy: ‘It seems to me to be quite fundamental that the court is sure who it is the court is dealing with.
‘Furthermore, this court, as long as I am sitting, has the highest respect for any religious tradition a person has.
‘In my courtroom also, this sometimes conflicts with the interests of a paramount need for the administration of justice. In my courtroom, that’s going to come first.’
The judge added: ‘There is the principle of open justice and it can’t be subject to the religion of the defendant whether the principle is observed or not.
‘I am not saying this because of the particular form of dress by this defendant, I apply that to any form of dress that had the same issues.’