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Unprecedented move sees Supreme Court judge stop a woman entering the courtroom wearing a niqab

A Supreme Court judge has barred a woman from entering a court wearing a niqab in what’s believed to be an unprecedented move in a Victorian court.

The Herald Sun reports Justice Christopher Beale stopped the wife of an accused of terrorism offences from entering his courtroom this week, demanding anyone who came into the court must have their faces uncovered.

Dr Matt Collins QC, president of the Victorian Bar, said a judge has complete control over who enters the courtroom.

“So far as we aware it’s the first time a judge has explicitly prevented someone from wearing a full covering from entering the courtroom,” he told 3AW Breakfast.

“But it’s not the first time of course that judges have restricted people from entering courts.”

“You’ve got to take it on a case by case basis.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview on 3AW Breakfast

Islamic Council of Victoria vice-president Adel Salman said from the looks of it, it was in his view an unreasonable request unless there some other circumstances that hadn’t been made public.

“She should be free to wear her niqab, it’s important to her,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“I don’t understand the reason why a judge would request or demand that she remove it.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview on 3AW Mornings