Friday, May 18, 2007

Canadian Appellate Court Upholds Hutterites Right To License Without Photo

In Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony v. Alberta, (Alberta Ct. App., May 17, 2007), an Alberta Court of Appeals , upholding a lower court decision, held that the refusal to issue Hutterites drivers' licenses without photos on them unjustifiably infringes their freedom of religion protected by Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Slatter dissenting argued that the accommodation offered by the Province was sufficient. It had proposed issuing Hutterites an Operator’s Licence in a folder marked as property of the Province of Alberta so that Hutterites would never need to come into physical contact with the license. Also their photos would be placed in the Province's digital facial recognition database. Canadian Press yesterday reported on the decision.