The government of Germany's state of Lower Saxony plans to ban for judges and prosecutors from wearing religious symbols such as crosses or headscarves in the state's courtrooms.
Promoters of the measure say it is aimed at making clear that judges and prosecutors are neutral and free of any religious or ideological bias.
The plan has the support of Germany's Justice Minister Katarina Barley, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
"A court decides independently from religious beliefs, and this neutrality must be visible from the outside," Barley told the local newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Tuesday.
A draft law is reportedly in the works at Lower Saxony's justice ministry, according to local broadcaster NDR, which had obtained a copy of the plan.