15 February 2014

Judge peers through eye slits to identify woman behind veil: Farce in court as witness is allowed to stay covered

A Muslim woman was allowed to wear a veil while giving evidence – even though a judge had to try to confirm who she was from photographs.

The crucial witness in a deportation case had her entire face, apart from her eyes, covered by a niqab.

Farcically, a judge was left trying to check her identity using a visa document with a photograph of her unveiled.

He had to peer at the small visible portion of her face in the vain hope of working out if it matched the picture.

The immigration tribunal’s decision has been quashed by a senior judge, who said it was procedurally unfair. A new hearing will now take place.

.... ‘The [tribunal] engaged in an exercise of attempting to compare [the woman’s] veiled visage with two photographic images. We consider that there are combined elements of insufficient findings and inadequate reasoning.’

He also criticised the judge for failing to ask the witness whether she would remove her veil, and not offering to let her speak from behind a screen. [Daily Mail] Read more