December 16, 2013

Adam Wagner - Human rights law can help settle Niqaab question

Adam Wagner has it here and cites the presiding judge HHJ Murphy who said:
"No tradition or practice, whether religious or otherwise, can claim to occupy such a privileged position that the rule of law, open justice, and the adversarial trial process are sacrificed to accommodate it. That is not a discrimination against religion. It is a matter of upholding the rule of law in a democratic society."
Adams also notes here:
"The real human rights fight over niqaabs is still to come, when the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber assesses France’s ban on niqaabs in all public places (case details here)."
Adam Wagner's personal take is that we should leave it with the rules of the ECHR. He said:
"Whatever your own gut reaction to the niqaab, I suggest that the human rights approach is the best we have available to resolving this complex issue. It allows for the needs of different individuals and groups to be fed into a balancing framework, evolved not from gut instinct or populism but from past experience of dealing with similar issues. The decisions this generates may end up pleasing nobody, but that can also be seen as a success rather than a failure where interests do not, and cannot, entirely coincide."

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