The F Word

Niqab on trial: What is really at stake?

| December 7, 2011


Artist: The F Word
Title: Niqab on trial: what is really at stake?
Length: 0:21:50
Format: 44.1kHz, 122.263Kbps

Show Notes:

N.S v. R. involves a sexual assault complainant who wears a niqab -- a veil which covers the face, with the exception of the eyes. The question before the Supreme Court of Canada on December 8, 2011 is whether N.S. can access the Canadian justice system wearing her niqab.

Women's Legal Education and Action Fund or LEAF intervened before the Ontario Court of Appeal and has been granted leave to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada hearing.

LEAF works to ensure Canadian courts provide the equality rights guaranteed to women and girls by Section 15 of the Canadian Charter. They are based in Toronto, with member branches in several provinces, and their affiliate, West Coast LEAF, in British Columbia. 

Ellie Gordon-Moershel interviews LEAF’s Director of Litigation Joanna Birenbaum.

Visit LEAF's website at

For more on the F Word visit


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.