PERTH, Australia – An Australian Muslim woman who sought permission to keep her face and head covered while she gives evidence at an upcoming trial was told by a judge Thursday she would have to remove her veil.

The case is the first time in Australia that a court has had to consider whether a witness should be allowed to keep her face hidden behind the type of veils some Muslim women wear as a mark of modesty. The case has drawn considerable interest nationally, drawing comparisons to France and Belgium, where efforts have been made to ban the wearing of Islamic face veils.