Magistrate right to walk out on veiled woman in dock
Ian Murray, a lay magistrate sitting in Manchester, absented himself from a case yesterday in which a woman completely covered by a hijab appeared in the dock. He was quite right to do so.
Every judge and every magistrate in the land dispenses justice on behalf of the sovereign; the Queen is symbolically present in every court. Ours is a Christian nation with Christian laws and a Christian sovereign. Surmounting the crown that itself surmounts the monarch's arms is a cross; this Christian symbol behind the heads of our judges and magistrates is fundamental to British law and justice.
Or as Kipling had it,
If , drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
- Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!