Judge grants stay of part of Quebec’s controversial religious neutrality law
A Quebec Superior Court judge has granted a temporary suspension of the section of Quebec’s religious neutrality law that deals with face-coverings.
Justice Babak Barin granted a stay to Section 10 of the law, which requires anyone who gives or receives public services to do so with their face uncovered.
In his decision, Barin goes on to say that Section 10 cannot come back into force until the government adopts guidelines dictating how the restrictions on face-coverings would work in practice.
The government has said it will not have those guidelines ready until next summer.
The controversial law was passed earlier this fall.
The court challenge was filed by a coalition of Muslim and civil right advocates, and a Muslim woman who wears a niqab.
They argued the law violates religious freedoms under the Canadian and Quebec charters of rights, targeting Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burka.
Government lawyers had argued they were confident the law could withstand a constitutional challenge, as it mainly requires people to show their faces for identification purposes.