Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Ban burkas in court: German judges call for blanket ban on Muslim headscarves for lawyers

JUDGES in Germany are calling for a blanket ban on Muslim headscarves for lawyers in all courts.The ban would extend to judges themselves who say that "neutrality" must be maintained in judicial settings. Germany’s constitution does not ban citizens from wearing religious symbols.Now two judicial organisations - the Association of German Administrative Judges and the German Association of Judges - as well as justice ministers in two states say all headscarves must be banned in courtrooms.The current debate was triggered in Augsburg in June when a 25-year-old trainee lawyer took the Bavarian legal system to court because she was banned her from wearing a headscarf. She subsequently won her case. Following her victory there have been several calls to impose the headscarf ban.Guido Wolf, the justice minister in Baden-Württemberg and member of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is currently working on a law to enforce the ban. "If judges were to wear headscarves in addition to their basic uniform, people’s trust in the impartiality of the justice system could be shaken," said the German Federation of Administrative Judges.

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