Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yet More Problems with the Veil

An immigration tribunal was stopped after a lawyer refused to remove her veil; twice. The judge asked her to remove it once and she refused; the case was the adjourned to that afternoon. Then the judge, having been forced to ask her to repeat her answers, asked her to remove the veil a second time. He said:

I am not very happy that you are appearing in a veil. Would you kindly remove it to assist with communications? It will allow me to see your face and I cannot hear you as well as I would like.

Once again she refused. The judge referred the case to Sir Henry Hodge, the head of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunals, for a ruling on how to proceed.

UPDATE: The lawyer in question refused to explain to journalists her reason for not removing her veil. Her boss at the law firm, Javid Hussain, told reporters:
This was an unfortunate and unprecedented incident. She will continue to dress as she always has done.
Why did Mr Hussain insist she will continue to dress in the same way? Does he not know that a decision is to be made by Sir Henry Hodge on whether she is allowed to or not? Or is he stating for the record that whatever the decision is she will still wear it?