On no account should a Muslim woman, devout or otherwise, alleged victim or otherwise, be allowed to testify in a criminal trial wearing a veil. To allow this would be a serious erosion of one of the fundamental principles our justice system and Western justice in general is built on- the right of an accused person to face their accuser openly in court. This is clearly impossible if the complainant is veiled.
How can we possibly say that we have a transparent court system and that everyone’s rights are fully protected if people who are accused of crimes cannot see their accuser? We can’t. To allow someone to give evidence while veiled essentially changes the character of the court process and is a violation of a basic value that has long been at the heart of our way of life. It is reminiscent of the Star Chamber.
I note that the Judge in the preliminary inquiry last year has a Jewish sounding name and instructed the plaintiff to remove her veil during that proceeding. What’s next, Muslims demanding non-Jewish Judges?