Talk:Application of sharia law by country

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Situation in the United Kingdom[edit]

As explained and reffed on Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, in the United Kingdom sharia tribunals do NOT make legally binding decisions the way courts do, ie can NOT marry and divorce as to change personal status under UK law. The Sharia councils' decisions are no more binding that a contract between the parties. Littledogboy (talk) 19:37, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Removed from the article. Littledogboy (talk) 11:31, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Here's a newspaper article about the implementation of sharia in the UK: What can sharia courts do in Britain?
"...And a sharia court in Britain has no power to grant a divorce that is valid in English law. Divorce is a matter of personal status. There is a fundamental difference between questions of status — which are for the state to decide — and disputes between individuals, which they may resolve as they wish. "
However, it goes on to say:
"Unless there are procedural irregularities, the arbitrator’s decision — known as an award — will be enforced in the same way as a court ruling."
So it would seem that they do, in fact, have the ability to make legally binding decisions.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 11:49, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, contracts between two people are binding too! But if married by a sharia council in the UK, you are still single under UK law. What sharia councils can do, for example, is to rule on how to divide someone's estate between the heirs. The heirs meet up, and the council can decide it for them – but this is only valid insofar as they all accept it; inherently, no more than if they signed a contract between them. So, the councils definitelly may not adjudicate in personal status matters, merely act as alternative dispute resolution, which private companies can do as well. Besides, they may not apply sharia law, if this constituted a breach of UK law. Littledogboy (talk) 12:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

From the website of one of the largest sharia councils in Britain ([1]), they're mostly concerned with Khula cases (divorce initiated by a woman), for Islamic marriages (and not civil ones). Sharia courts do not conduct marriages even in countries with full sharia, so it would have been strange if they did conduct them.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 12:08, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

OK, I stand corrected, they do not deal with marriages but grant islamic divorces, and also mediate disputes. What I am saying is, whatever they conduct has no bearing on one's legal personal status – no more then of I tell you: You are now divorced. Re marriages, although polygamy is prohibited by law in the UK, if you are in an Islamic marriage, you can still legally marry someone else in civil marrige in this country. Littledogboy (talk) 12:25, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Decisions taken by a sharia court can be accepted by English courts ([2]), which is more than can be said about sharia in countries like Turkey, where it has no legal standing whatsoever. Instead, the situation in the UK seems similar to the one in Indonesia (other than Aceh), where there is a choice between secular and religious courts. The British sharia courts operate under the Arbitration Act 1996, which makes rulings binding once both parties have given authority to the arbitrator. Given all that, the entry for the UK should be kept in the article.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 12:32, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Very interesting aricle you link to, Mr, and these quotes it contains:

1/ "It is right that agreements decided privately in family cases must be authorised by a judge applying English law if they are to have any legal effect." — shadow justice secretary Nick Herbert.

2/ "Sharia law has no jurisdiction in England and Wales and the government has no intention to change this position." — a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice.

Ergo: Yes, sharia councils can operate as ADR, but may not apply sharia law.

Littledogboy (talk) 14:16, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

The very purpose of these sharia councils is to apply sharia law, if they didn't do that they would have no reason to exist. They do so within the framework of the ADR system, so what? How is that relevant to determine the exclusion of the UK entry from the article?--eh bien mon prince (talk) 05:04, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, you have a point there, but I think you would be redefinining the list by adding the UK, as we have asked a different question here: In which non-muslim countries are you legally free to choose a sharia-based arbitrator (or mediator) equally to any other arbitrator, and where is this expressly outlawed. The Economist [3] seems to suggest the USA belongs to the former, for example! Also, we are opening another question: In which countries it forms a de-facto parallel legal system, ie although they have no official legal basis, people still abide by such rulings [4]. Those are complicated questions we have run into, and interesting methinks.

The colour in the map is misleading, though, as sharia councils can not change your personal status, ie they can not rule on personal status issues. Littledogboy (talk) 16:47, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

The British sharia councils can rule on some personal status issues, such as divorce, provided their rulings they don't conflict with English law. If US courts accept and recognise sharia-based arbitrations on similar issues, by all means add it to the article. I've come across some newspaper articles claiming that some Canadian provinces had a system of religious arbitration similar to the British one, but it was since abolished. As for the second question: the idea behind the article was always to limit it to the official, state-sanctioned applications of sharia, otherwise it would be almost impossible to classify each country in any meaningful way.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 17:17, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

In the UK cannot rule on divorce! Cannot divorce a marriage valid in the face of English law. Littledogboy (talk) 21:01, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Quoting own message from 4 days ago, "from the website of one of the largest sharia councils in Britain ([5]), they're mostly concerned with Khula cases (divorce initiated by a woman), for Islamic marriages (and not civil ones)." I think we have established that by now, haven't we? They don't issue civil divorces, and neither does any other sharia court in the world, by definition. So that's not a valid objection to the inclusion of the UK to this article.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 23:03, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Again, no bearing on personal status in the UK. Personal status = single / divorced; pronouncement by an islamic tribunal: no change. On the other hand, "Recognition of full Talaqs performed overseas [...] will be recognised if either spouse was: [...] a national of that country." [6] My understanding: Talaq will change your UK personal status only if performed in, say, Pakistan, but not if performed in the UK. How else to look at it? Littledogboy (talk) 04:08, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Then, the decisions of sharia-based arbitrations don't change the personal status. But what do they do?--eh bien mon prince (talk) 22:44, 30 April 2013 (UTC)