Why I need to see your entire face

The Niqab ruling is back in the news again – after a Supreme Court of Canada decision that “determined” the issue had to be addressed on a case by case, the Judge decided the defendants’ lawyer and Court room staff have the right to see the face of the accuser during cross-examination.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a trial lawyer – cross-examination is part of what I do.

If I were not permitted to see a witness’ full face during cross-examination I would not have the full expression to evaluate the answers to my questions – it would be like the person was answer questions through a mask. Yes, I would still see the eyes, but a smirk, a smile, a sad face, a look of agony – no, none of that would be seen and all of that matters.

The accuser in the Niqab case is appealing again, as is her right. We will, once again, wait to see what the Court has to say on the issue.

Inga B. Andriessen JD