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
Australian businessman named as Alan Sugar's newest apprentice and winner of a £250,000 investment in his fledgling company.
The 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing have been remembered today, 26 years to the day that they lost their lives in the air disaster.
Actress Billie Whitelaw, who starred in films including The Omen, has died aged 82.