Update – Mushy Decision Rendered – Supreme Court’s niqab ruling must balance religious freedom, defendant rights

Update: Ruling – Witness may be required to remove niqab while testifying: top court

An Islamic witness may be required to remove her niqab veil to testify in court depending on the seriousness of the case and the intensity of her religious beliefs, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday.

The Supreme Court of Canada must balance religious freedom with the right to a fair trial in a case that erupted after a sexual assault complainant asked to testify from behind a niqab veil.

The court faces the task of determining whether religious ritual and observance can trump the right of the defendants to a fair trial.