A judge said that if a Muslim woman refuses to take off her veil in court to give evidence she should not be allowed to testify.
The woman must also remove her niqab in front of a female police officer or other witnesses for identification purposes.
Judge Peter Murphy said the woman must be given time to reflect when asked to take off her veil and added: "If she refuses the judge should not allow her to give evidence and must give the jury a clear direction."
He also said: "No tradition or practice, whether religious or otherwise, can claim to occupy such a privileged position that the rule of law, open justice and the adversarial trial process are sacrificed to accommodate it.
"That is not a discrimination against religion, it is a matter of upholding the rule of law in a democratic society."
More top news
Comedian Peter Kay has said he is "thrilled" to star in a adaptation of broadcaster Danny Baker's autobiography.
MPs have warned of legal loopholes are allowing police to store photographs of innocent people to use with facial recognition systems.
One of the great tragedies of the First World War is the number of youths who lied about their age to enlist particularly in the Royal Navy.