AUSTRALIA, Sydney -- Muslim women in Australia who wear burqas will be forced by laws of the land to reveal their facial identities when asking Justices of the Peace (JP), or Lawyers to verify their signatures while signing statutory declarations, affidavits, licences.
The new law is as a result of Carnita Matthews, a Muslim woman, who was accused of making statement against a police officer but it could not be proven she had signed the statement.
Ms. Matthews was apparently caught on camera speeding and disobeying traffic lights.
After being stopped by NSW police in 2010 for not displaying her P-plates, Ms. Matthews was ordered to pay $276 in fines and court costs.
She claimed on Channel Seven and allegedly in a statutory declaration to Campbelltown police that the officer who stopped her had attempted to tear the burqa off her face, a claim that was proven untrue by the police patrol car video camera. She was sentenced to jail for six months.
The JP who witnessed the signature of a woman wearing a full black burqa had assumed it was Ms. Matthews but had not asked her to show her face.
Attorney-General Greg Smith said the case highlighted the need for change and the new laws, to begin on April 30, would minimise the risk of fraud.