While I was away there was an incident in which a magistrate who was unhappy to see a lady in a full veil before the court walked off the bench. Thereafter the media picked up the case.
The veil is a sensitive issue, and one that needs to be treated with thought and care, and with due regard to judicial obligations. The magistrate concerned is entitled to be concerned about the veil, but in my view he was quite wrong to walk out as he did. Magistrates' training ephasises that any concern felt by a magistrate in court should be referred discreetly to the chairman, and, if necessary, discussed outside with the legal adviser. Grandiose public gestures are not compatible with the office of Justice of the Peace.
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