2012 SCC 72
The claimant in this case (N.S.) was a Muslim woman whose religious belief mandated that when she was in public spaces or in the presence of men outside of her immediate family she should wear a niqab. She had alleged repeated sexual assaults by her uncle and cousin when she was a child, and sought certiorari to quash the preliminary inquiry judge’s order that she uncover her face in order to testify, claiming that the order violated her s.2(a) Charter right to freedom of religion. The majority of the Supreme Court of Canada held that wear a witness has sincere religious beliefs requiring them to wear a niqab, they will be required to remove it if a) it is necessary to prevent a serious risk to trial fairness, because alternative measures will not prevent the risk; and b) the salutary effects of requiring the removal of the niqab outweigh the deleterious effects of doing so, including the infringement on the freedom of religion. The Supreme Court remitted the matter to the preliminary inquiry judge to decide in accordance with their reasons.
Faculty of Law Research and Commentary Discussing R v. N.S.
Ayelet Shachar, “Interpretation Sections (27 and 28) of the Canadian Charter,” (2013) 61 SCLR (2d) 147-190.
|2011 / 07 / 29||Appellant – N.S.|
|2011 / 09 / 20||Respondent – Her Majesty the Queen|
|2011 / 09 / 23||Respondent – M—d. S.|
|Respondent – M—l. S.|
|2011 / 11 / 18||Intervener – Ontario Human Rights Commission|
|2011 / 11 / 18||Intervener – Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic|
|2011 / 11 / 21||Intervener – Criminal Lawyers’ Association (Ontario)|
|2011 / 11 / 21||Intervener – Canadian Muslim Congress|
|2011 / 11 / 21||Intervener – South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (on page 8)|
|2011 /11 / 18||Intervener – Barreau du Quebec|
|2011 / 11 / 17||Intervener – Canadian Civil Liberties Association|
|2011 / 11/ 17||Intervener – Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund|
|2011 / 11 / 21||Intervener – Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations|