Face-veils and citizenship oaths: Ishaq v Canada

As we have observed before, the Canadian courts stand in a rather similar relationship to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the UK courts to the ECHR – except that the Charter is binding, whereas the UK courts merely have to ‘take account of’ the Convention. Religious dress and rights under the Charter came up in Ishaq v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) 2015 FC 156 (CanLII), handed down by the first-instance Federal Court on 6 February.

The facts

Ms Ishaq is a Pakistani national and devout Sunni Muslim who believes that her religion requires her to wear a niqab veil in public. Continue reading