Proposed Oz law could give police power to lift burqa

Burqa ban

Proposed changes to a law related to the burka will reportedly force Australian women wearing full-face veils to should their faces when stopped by police, if passed by court.

Attorney-General Greg Smith has said that it is the duty of all citizens to identify themselves when asked by police, and the law should reflect that.

"The law is not that specific at the moment and that is what we are leading towards," The Telegraph quoted Smith, as saying.

He said he could understand the "public outcry" over "cases like that" of Muslim woman Carnita Matthews, who had her jail sentence and conviction for knowingly making a false complaint about racism by police overturned on appeal in the District Court last week.

Matthews, who wears a full-face niqab, had denied that she was the person who signed the complaint or delivered it to police after she was booked for not properly displaying a P-plate.

However, Smith thinks that there were grounds for the prosecution to appeal the court ruling that has led to the legal proceedings, and added that there could only be an appeal on matters of law, not fact.

"Personally, having looked at the case, I have my doubts," he said.

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