It was just one decision made by one judge in one case in Perth and Judge Shauna Deane was at pains to make that clear.

But the impact of her decision yesterday to order a Muslim woman to remove her burqa in Western Australia's District Court is unlikely to remain so localised.

A prosecution witness known only as Tasneem, 36, has kept her surname a secret but will have to show her face in the fraud trial of a former Muslim school director called Anwar Sayed.

Mr Sayed's defence team - to their client's apparent dismay - had argued the jury should be able to see her facial expressions.

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