Bavaria initiates push to ban face veil in German courts

The southern German state of Bavaria initiated on Tuesday a push for a nationwide ban on wearing a face veil during court proceedings.

Marcel Huber, head of Bavaria's Chancellery Office, said that the federal initiative brought by the state's cabinet wasn't about a general ban on burqas.

"It's not about personal or religious convictions. For us, it's exclusively about ensuring an orderly legal process," he said, adding that it's important for courts to be able to see a witness' facial expressions during their statements.

A Muslim woman recently refused to remove her niqab - a face veil - in a Munich courtroom. The judge ultimately allowed her to proceed, and the woman made her statement while fully covered, with only her eyes visible. During the appeals process, the witness then showed her face to those party to the proceedings, though not to the public.

A witness dress code so far does not exist, with decisions on attire being left to the discretion of the judge in each case.

Last update: Tue, 21/06/2016 - 16:34

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