That-was-the-weekA Crown Court judge allowed a female defendant who wears a full-face niqab to enter a plea, following a prior refusal to do so due to problems with identifying her. The compromise reached involved a female police officer confirming the defendant’s identity without her veil in a private room. The judge must still rule on how to deal with the veil in the eventual jury trial. The Equal Treatment Bench Book advises judges to weigh “the ability or not to observe her facial expressions” and its impact on the court’s decision-making. In a Canadian sexual assault case last year, the Supreme Court ruled that it was necessary for a female complainant to remove her veil when testifying in order for the jury to be able to evaluate her credibility as a witness.

The FA warned that those attending Tottenham Hotspur matches could face criminal charges for chanting the word “Yid” at matches. Although opposing fans use the word as an insult towards fans of the club, which has strong ties to the Jewish community in north London, it has also been adopted as an affectionate term by club supporters. The club’s organisation has largely expressed support for the ban, and asserted that home fans have adopted the term as a “defence mechanism” to deflect years of anti-Semitic abuse.

The Ministry of Justice proposed a new “planning court” which would deal with judicial review applications relating to development projects. This proposal follows proposals from earlier in the year designed to limit judicial review, which included reducing time limits for applying, and the introduction of fees to lodge appeals.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard that a minibus driver facing charges of using a motor vehicle on a road when the load or passengers were likely to cause danger did not have too many people in his cab when stopped by council officials – the extra passenger was a blow-up doll. Officers had performed a headcount after pulling over the cab, with strobe lights flashing inside and passengers shouting out of the windows. The defendant changed his plea to guilty at the hearing.