POLITICS

Rania El-Alloul Hijab Ruling Draws Complaint Against Quebec Judge

03/02/2015 07:17 EST | Updated 05/02/2015 05:59 EDT
CP

A Montreal resident has filed a complaint against Quebec Court Judge Eliana Marengo over her decision not to hear the case of a Muslim woman because she was wearing a hijab.

Rania El-Alloul appeared in court Feb. 24 in an attempt to recover her vehicle, which had been seized by Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ.

Marengo refused to hear El-Alloul’s testimony unless she removed her hijab, which El-Alloul would not do.

In his complaint to Quebec’s judicial council, Jean-Pierre Lussier says Marengo’s decision was decried by many citizens, politicians and groups that support the protection of civil rights across Canada.

Lussier, who doesn't know Ms. El-Alloul, said that many people were surprised by the “rigidity” of the judge.

The judicial council, an independent body officially known as the Conseil de la magistrature, is mandated to examine complaints related to the conduct of judges.

The council will do an initial review, and if it “decides the complaint should be investigated further, it will look into the events that led to the complaint,” according to its website.

If deemed necessary, the judicial council will then set up an inquiry committee, which will "decide if any sanctions should be imposed.”

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