Lawyers and JPs will have to ask women wearing burqas to show their faces before witnessing their signatures under tough new state laws.

The move to "burqa-proof" identity checks follows a public outcry following last year's controversial Carnita Matthews case.

Ms Matthews, a Muslim, had her conviction overturned for knowingly making a false statement accusing a police officer of racism because the prosecution could not prove that she had signed the statement.

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