Government orders sharia court review

Divorce|December 23rd 2015

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a review of traditional Islamicsharia’ courts.

Speaking to the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee, she said the enquiry would focus on whether or not these informal community courts ever issue rulings incompatible with English law, stressing that it would be unacceptable for any to do so.

She declared:

“I am very aware of the fact that there is concern about how sharia law, in terms of sharia courts, is operating in some circumstances here in the UK. That is why we will be doing a review of sharia courts.”

The announcement follows recent claims that sharia courts in Britain routinely discriminate against Muslim women in family matters, frequently denying them a religious divorce from unwilling husbands and failing to take claims of domestic violence seriously.

Nus Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden in East Sussex, said many saw the courts as “far-right Islamist movements whose main aim is to restrict and deny rights, particularly those of women and children”.

The MP, whose parents were Pakistani, added:

“These sharia courts are not going to be advising in line with the British rule of law and our rule of law trumps any “pop-up” sharia court.”

Details of the review are expected shortly, with a report due sometime in 2016.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(16)

  1. stitchedup says:

    pot, kettle, black…

    It won’t be long before British males will be claiming political asylum in countries that practice Sharia Law.

    • spinner says:

      I’ve not thought about claiming asylum but definitely will be considering moving there as the family courts here are just a joke.

  2. JamesB says:

    If both families, or rather the one family as these people usually marry amongst themselves with inbreeding health issues to keep money in family in divorce by marrying cousins, but that is another matter.

    If the families consent to the sharia courts then don’t see how the government can do anything, same with bin deth or deth bin, whatever it is the Jewish courts. If I were muslim I would be asking how come other religions aren’t getting this sort of thing thrown at them.

    Personally I agree with the other two posters and won’t be sticking up for the England and Wales family courts anytime soon. They are best avoided as those who use the religious courts do as they are right to and get fairer outcomes.

    To be fair, I think the home office has a point, if there is fair law behind it, which the MCA 1973 (E and W divorce law) isn’t.

    My pre-nup says where any doubt, Scottish law to apply, or anything but the English and Welsh law on divorce, which is well dodgy, or words to that effect (seriously).

    If want to make a fairer society, with laws applicable to all, not just one for the wealthy and establishment and the rest get screwed (which is what we have), with more marriage, which is a good goal, then change the divorce law, copy the Scottish law in this space.

    Chasing these types of better fairer than the E and W courts before changing the law is like trying to legislate to push water up hill. Well, more like trying to divert the Yangtse via the summity of Mount Everest. I.e. a bloody stupid idea doomed to failure after wasting a fortune of taxpayers money on it. Shame on the politicians and Theresa May for ignoring the elephant in the room, the bad family law we have in this country, again.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Hi James
      The Beth Din (Orthodox Jewish only supervises the voluntary giving and accepting of a get which process permits a couple to divorce. It has no judicial function or powers, it cannot order a divorce and it exercises no legal function in relation to family law. It will not even supervise a get until there is a decree nisi.
      Regards
      Marilyn

      • JamesB says:

        Hi Marilyn,

        We both know that

        Most arguments and disagreements on divorce aren’t about the actual divorce but about the financial settlements associated with them.

        So, your point about the Beth Din working within the framework of the E and W courts is, with respect, a little misleading if I might say so, and I take a deep breath as I accuse a lawyer of being so as a non lawyer arguing with a lawyer is rather masochistic, but I will try as I feel strongly on this.

        Decree Nisi and Decree absolute and get and all the paperwork are all about the divorce, not the financial side which is where the home office and lawyers has its knickers in a twist.

        I will give an example I have used before again. I used to work with a Seventh Day Adventist.

        I will give a different example to my seventh day Adventist experience (I am not one) for a change. Two of my cousins, women, divorced their husbands through them not living up to their expectations, each against their husbands will, they felt the husbands should get half as wasn’t anything they did wrong and they didn’t want the divorce, so that’s what they gave them. If had gone to E and W court they would have got more than half. They also took my advise on going for 2 years separation with consent rather than unreasonable behaviour. So, the admin of the divorce you talk about and the financial law which is the subject of this article are different things.

        Anyone, especially religious people more often, can influence the financial settlements. Indeed usually it is not a condition of the divorce that there is a financial case, and I repeat that most people are advised against E and W law for moving on as it will cause more unfairness then these religious people who are not as bad as the rant by the MP, whether he be Pakistani origin or not, and the home office including Theresa May suggests.

        Also, where an agreement is reached by both sides Judges may posture, but if both sides insist they will stamp them, I have never heard of a Judge refusing to stamp an agreement however I expect you have as I know far fewer examples than you. Have you any experience of that? How many times out of how many times please?

        Also, rather than me sounding like a bitter blow hard, while I am asking questions, I will ask another, which is really my issue with the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

        Is it section 17 where it says where there is any doubt the benefit of the doubt shall be given to the spouse who resides (lives with) the children the most?

        If it is, then if that section can be taken out then the law would be a lot more just in this area.

        If MPs weren’t so bad they could do that one thing and make things so much better with no risk. Instead women ‘win’ by default due to this clause more than 50 50 usually which is not right.

        I did write to my MP on this in detail about 10 years ago. He forwarded it on to the minister and it went to the people concerned and it also had my details and that I hadn’t done anything wrong and always tried to do the right thing but objectively received bad treatment by the courts without taking much by percentage from my marriage.

        The response we got was ‘No’, without even an argument as to why not take out this section. The person responsible was a female feminist academic, we have too many of those types of people running the legislature in E and W and I think that partly accounts for the rise of anti establishment sentiment such as the SNP. I don’t want to end the post with them letters so will wish you a happy xmas instead, which I understand is more of a secular non Christian was for saying happy Christmas.

      • JamesB says:

        Another example, my mother, who I have had my disagreements with in the past, when she divorced my father, who then brought me up, took less than she could have in the divorce as she wanted the children to have a better upbringing than they (we) would have had had she taken the most she could have got from what a lawyer could have got for her (she would have got a lot more through courts and solicitors). I have a lot of respect for her for that (and indeed other reasons, hi Mum 🙂 ).

        • JamesB says:

          This point about my parents divorce illustrates its not just that section but also the bit about the lesser earning spouse being kept to reasonable needs by the other for long periods of time.

          Whatever, it doesn’t undermine my point which is as the two other responders put it in less words that men in E and W courts are unfairly treated.

          Hope people get to see their families and have good time this holiday as much as they can.

          • JamesB says:

            I am not a lawyer or MP and have little supporting staff (none) to help me with this lobbying for change. So on the detail I wouldn’t probably know what to write or change.

            Instead I say, the Scottish law is a lot fairer than the E and W law on this subject, so, if I were in charge, scrapping the MCA 1973 and replacing it with the Scottish Equivalent would be a massive improvement.

    • spinner says:

      “My pre-nup says where any doubt, Scottish law to apply, or anything but the English and Welsh law on divorce, which is well dodgy, or words to that effect (seriously).”

      I would be very happy with Scottish law but if you or your wife moved to England or Wales, or even had any connection with England or Wales wouldn’t you just get dragged back by the English and Welsh family courts as they don’t recognise a prenup and even if you did get a divorce in Scotland couldn’t one of you apply for financial relief after an overseas divorce and just start the process in England again.

      • JamesB says:

        We live in England. No, I think the courts here would be ok with it (our pre-nup).

        Massive caveat coming up, I respect my wife so much and she me and we respect each other so much that if we did unfortunately go down this path I neither of us would push this against the pre nup any way. Which is my point about the religious people putting their family law above E and W family law also.

        An aside. From (difficult) experience, if it did arise, and I would not expect it to be an issue, the first question on the divorce papers for the respondent are – do you accept the jurisdiction of this court on this matter? (y/n). I would put n as would my wife. They wouldn’t be issued in E and W for reasons given earlier anyway.

        If my wife did try and push through E and W I say no to the jurisdiction then I show the pre nup. For financial and the actual divorce. Not that we are looking at that, just from my bad divorce last time and not wanting me or my family anywhere near anything like that again. I am not at the stage but think such a pre nup to be less threatening than a full one and more fair to both then the current divorce law. If the current divorce (financial) law can be changed then would not need pre nups or be thinking about ensuring my children have them, that has to be the answer and not ignoring the elephant in the room as Harry Benson, Theresa May, Pakistani MP, John Bolsh, Marilyn Stowe (I have a lot of respect to her) do when they talk about what are really side issues. the main issue and the elephant in the room is the bad law in the MCA 1973.

  3. JamesB says:

    Other examples I have heard of include Seventh Day Adventists, Christian churches, and Hindus, indeed I think most religions suggest to sort things out within them with their laws rather than the secular states. Religions don’t go with secularism as a rule, its not in their nature, with re to this subject facing these E and W courts they are right to advise their congregations (or whatever the different names for their members are) to avoid the places like the plague. As do more young people who do so by not getting married or having pre nups.

    • JamesB says:

      I didn’t even earn that much or have that much in assets upon divorce anyway or have that much earning power and still lost lions share in divorce. My father didn’t earn that much or have that much assets or ability to earn either, yet on most of these cases the E and W courts and lawyers seem fixated upon supporting the women above other things.

  4. JamesB says:

    P.s. In case I didn’t make the point clearly enough, and I hate using the word, it is a racist government policy this making one rule for anti Muslims and one for pro Jews who both use same religious courts. Disgusting fascist genetic superiority racist nonsense of the worst kind. You want to have one law ban all religious courts not this racist rubbish of just going anti Muslim like anti semitic I despise islamaphobia as well.

  5. JamesB says:

    If you are a man the rule is if you go to family court against a woman in E and W you lose the case thus to try and avoid the places as is the subject of this article.

  6. JamesB says:

    Dodgy politicians, like my father who has motor neurones having to pay for his care here under social care, reducing his estate to zero, where if he lived in Scotland would be supported. He paid tax all his life. I prefer Scottish law and representation and way of doing things. Politicians blindside and distract the public with nonsense articles such as this, and dodgy dossiers and Afghanistan etc distracting from the real issues that matter to people.

  7. JamesB says:

    Three very bad laws.
    1. MCA 1973 – matrimonial clauses act, guilty of not supporting far too many people
    2. CSA 1991, guilty of not supporting far too many people
    3. Social Care, guilty of not supporting far too many people

    All really unfair and ruining good peoples lives day in day out.

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