Just a quick note in reaction to your Dec. 26 Viewpoint, Unveiling Justice.
While I appreciate the Supreme Court of Canada's sensitivity to any citizen's religious practices, I strongly disagree that it should be allowed to compromise the Canadian system of justice, and in my opinion that is exactly what it does on two points:
1. The niqab (face veil) in hiding the face also hides the identity of the party who is supposed to be under oath on the stand. This dramatically compromises the ability for the court to determine the party's true identity. 2. In any communication between two parties we rely not only on the spoken word but also on their body language (facial expression, etc.) to assist in determining whether the party in question is telling the truth or not. This also would be dramatically compromised by the wearing of the niqab.
I do not believe if we went to another country and were testifying in their court system that we would be afforded the same ability to hide our identity and our visual responses in this way, regardless of how strongly we held our religious convictions.
I believe Canada should be protecting the majority of Canadian citizens first.
John A. Myers, North Vancouver
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