Truth and demeanour : lifting the veil

Nicolson, Donald (2014) Truth and demeanour : lifting the veil. Edinburgh Law Review, 18 (2). pp. 254-259. ISSN 1364-9809 (

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In September last year Judge Peter Murphy upheld a request by a Muslim female accused at Blackfriars crown court in London to be permitted to wear a niqab (a veil which shields all but the wearer’s eyes) in court on the ground that her religionprevented her being seen by men in public.1 He had initially refused her request on the ground that, while courts should show full respect for everyone’s religious beliefs, they have to be sure of the identity of those appearing before them. 2 However, after full argument, Judge Murphy relented because a female police officer had examined the accused in private and was able to confirm her identity.


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