Socialist Worker

Veil row in court

Issue No. 2027

What is acceptable dress in a court case? Some High Court judges wear a court coat and waistcoat, bands and a skirt or trousers beneath a black silk gown, and a wig.

High Court Queen’s Bench judges hearing civil cases in the summer months wear blue/violet robes. On Red Letter days (including the sovereign’s birthday and some saints’ days) all judges wear a scarlet robe.

Yet a Muslim lawyer has been taken off a case after she refused to remove her veil. Shabnam Mughal was replaced by one of the senior partners at her law firm this week. The law firm said this did not reflect on her abilities and was not backing down under pressure. It was simply safeguarding the client's interest.

Judge George Glossop had earlier said during an immigration appeal that he could not hear her and postponed the case when she would not take off the veil.

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Sat 18 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2027
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