Muslims in Australia have been told by Islamic leaders there was no religious reason for refusing to rise before a judge in court or for refusing to uncover one's face.

The new guidance from the Australian National Imams Council comes after a string of Muslim defendants have refused to stand in court or remove their burkas, citing their religion.

"Standing up for the magistrate or judge is a sign of respect to the court," guidelines published in conjunction with the Judicial Commission of New South Wales stated.

"This sign of respect is also reflected in the teaching of Islam."

It said the teachings of the Prophet told people to "stand up for your chief".

"There is no religious reason why Muslims can't abide by the custom of lowering or bowing one's head when entering or leaving the court as a mark of respect," it added.

The guidelines, published on Tuesday (12 December), went on to say Muslim women wearing burkas should uncover their faces in court if requested to do so.

It reads: "It is not contrary to Sharia law for a woman to uncover her face when she is giving testimony in court, whether she is a witness in a case or is there to witness a deal, and it is not contrary to Sharia law for the Magistrate or Judge (male or female) to look at her in order to know or identify who she is, make assessments as to credibility where this is an issue and protect the rights of all concerned."

The advice comes after the Muslim wife of a convicted terrorist was charged for refusing to stand before a court in Australia.

Moutia Elzahed, 49, had attempted to sue police over claims she was punched in the head during terror raids in September 2014.

Her lawsuit failed and she instead faced nine charges of disrespectful behaviour in court for refusing to stand during the hearing. She claimed she "won't stand for anyone except Allah".

Her actions followed similar defiant refusals to stand in court by other Australian defendants, including Milad Bin Ahmad-Shah Al-Ahmadzai, jailed for 18 years earlier this year for a shooting in a Western Sydney gay nightclub, and Islamic State-inspired Sulayman Khalid and Mohamed Almaouie, who planned to attack Australian Federal Police officers.