21 January, 2008

Sharia Courts in the UK

Here is a useful article for background if setting up religious courts in the UK is a motion.

The Beth Din is the Jewish court system which already operates in the UK. If both parties consent to using it, personal matters (family, commercial etc) can be tried under Jewish law. The decision of the Beth Din will then be upheld in the usual courts if one party tries to breach the decision handed down by the court.

Worth bearing in mind that there are three main branches of Islam: Sunni, Shia and Sufi. 70% of British Muslims are Sufi and Sufi-ism is a branch of Islam which emphasises the spiritual side of Islam over the more practical aspects. The comment on page 3 of the article from the head of the British Sufi Council is therefore hardly surprising.

Perhaps the best argument for implementation is that it regulates what is already happening.

The best argument against is that (eg) women will be forced by social pressure to accept an outcome which is less fair than if they had gone through the usual court system.

"That it will reduce crime" is not a good reason. See Geeklawyer's commentary.


Alex said...

Definately one of those debates you always feel greatful to be on the opp side of. Although I suppose prop has some interesting philisophical arguments... "interesting" in the sense that they're completely stupid, in real life. But interesting none the less.

Liz Ford said...

I don't mind the prop. For every opp argument that is stated, you simply say 'Beth Din is in existence and this hasn't happened' and just find a couple of positives (regulation, children, happiness etc)