The Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper and sharia

HMG has published its promised Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper. The proposals are wide-ranging and subject to a consultation (with some very general questions, almost for discussion rather than factual responses) which closes on 5 June. We shall no doubt be returning to this subject in future posts, but we thought it might be helpful to report the proposals on nikah weddings. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 18th February

A week in which it appeared that some people seemed to think that attracting children into church was something to be discouraged…

HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London again

The Law Society Gazette reports that Jeremy Corbyn has entered the fray over the “cab-rank rule” adopted by HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, for processing deaths in her coronial district. According to the report, he and the Shadow Attorney, Emily Thornberry, have written to the Chief Coroner, HHJ Lucraft QC, to the effect that Ms Hassell’s approach is “unacceptable” and that grieving relatives are experiencing “unnecessary delays and barriers to laying loved ones to rest”. Continue reading

A Fear of Sharia: why the Independent Report is a wasted opportunity

In a guest post, Russell Sandberg, Head of Law and Reader in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff, is fairly unimpressed with the report of the Independent Review into the Application of Sharia Law in England and Wales


Today, 7 February 2018, is ten years to the day since Rowan Williams gave his lecture that illustrated the fear and heat surrounding the issue of sharia and how little we know about the operation of sharia law in the UK. Academic work in the last decade and some earlier work have meant that we now know a great deal about some sharia councils operate (or at least the representations they give to researchers). And there has been a great deal of literature by lawyers, political scientists, theologians and others into the range of issues that such institutions raise.

In particular, a literature has developed on the ‘minorities within minorities’ issue: the need to protect the rights of those within the communities, especially to ensure that there is no discrimination on grounds of gender.

Yet there is still much that we do not know. Continue reading

Sharia in England and Wales: report of the independent review

The Home Office has today published the report of the independent review chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui into the application by sharia councils in England and Wales of sharia law. In brief, the report makes three recommendations: for legislative change, for awareness campaigns and for regulation.

1. Legislative change Continue reading

Sharia and inheritance in Western Thrace: Molla Sali

In Molla Sali v Greece (No. 20452/14) (which we noted briefly in April 2015) the applicant, Ms Chatitze Molla Sali, is a Greek national born in 1950 who lives in Komotini in Western Thrace. On the death of her husband, she inherited his entire estate under the terms of a will drawn up by him before a notary. His two sisters contested the will, on the grounds that their brother had belonged to the Muslim minority community in Western Thrace and that all matters relating to his estate were therefore subject to Islamic law and to the jurisdiction of the mufti rather than to the provisions of the Greek Civil Code. They relied in particular on the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which provided for Islamic customs and Islamic religious law to be applied to Greek nationals who were Muslims. Continue reading

Non-recognition of third-country talaq divorce: Sahyouni

The CJEU has ruled in Sahyouni v Mamisch [2017] ECJ Case C‑372/16 that a talaq divorce pronounced in a third country does not attract the provisions of Article 1 of Regulation No 1259/2010 on enhanced cooperation in the law applicable to divorce and legal separation.

Continue reading