Woman booted out of court for wearing hijab had right to wear it: Quebec Court of Appeal

A Quebec woman who was refused a hearing in court in 2015 because she was wearing a hijab was won her case before the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Rania El-Alloul was in court on a routine traffic matter when judge Eliana Marengo refused to hear her case saying decorum was important and that she was not suitably dressed.

In a unanimous decision, the appeal court judges said El-Alloul had the right to wear her hijab in court.

The judges were clear: El-Alloul was"entitled to be heard before the court wearing her hijab and court dress codes don't forbid it if the practice results from a sincerely held religious and does not conflict with or harm an overriding public interest."

In 2016, Quebec Superior Court refused to issue a declaratory judgement saying she had the right to be heard by the court despite her attire.

The appeal court ruling sets aside this decision and quashes Marengo's ruling.

Her lawyer Julius Grey.

"This case establishes once and for all if there is a right, a charter right, there's no answer saying a procedure that's not been created for it, you can't use a declaratory judgement, you can't use this, you can't use that, the right must be enforceable," said El-Alloul's lawyer Julius Grey in an interview with CJAD 800.

"She can be secure that she will be heard - she may win or she may lose - but she will be heard with her hijab"

El-Alloul is also seeking disciplinary action against Marengo.

The incoming CAQ government said they'd have to go over the ruling before any further action but spokesperson Geneviève Guilbault who won the riding of Louis-Hebert repeated:

"We are saying again we have the intention of creating a new law which will forbid the wearing of any religious signs for people in a position of authority in the state," said Guilbault at a news conference in Boucherville where leader François Legault was meeting winning and defeated candidates in an election post-mortem.

Guilbault added they have the "legal tools" to make it so.