Would a judge be happy being addressed by a barrister wearing a face veil? It’s a tough question, and one the UK’s most senior judge opted not to answer when asked. President of the UK Supreme Court Lord Neuberger was posed the query during a media conference on Wednesday at an event held to coincide with the start of the legal year.
He replied that it was a problem that he would address if and when it became an issue. "I think we would have to deal with that problem when it arose because there might be an argument about it,” he said. “We would have to look at the arguments and decide it. If we said anything about it here, it would look as if we have decided it in advance."
Neuberger added: "It is an interesting question and one that obviously we have thought about. It is a question any self-respecting journalist would ask, but I am afraid any self-respecting judge would have to duck it."
In September, a judge at Blackfriars Crown Court in London ruled that a Muslim woman could stand trial while wearing a full-face veil, compromising that she would only have to remove it while giving evidence.