‘The inclusion or exclusion of Islamic law within the English legal frame has been a matter of huge controversy for almost a decade. Since the Archbishop of Canterbury’s famous lecture on the ‘Civil and Religious Law in England: a religious perspective’ in 2008, this issue has received great media coverage along with the creation of multiple research fora in Academia, political institutions and within the diverse British Muslim communities. It recently was the object of further controversy following the publication of guidelines by the Law Society for the drafting of Sharia compliant wills, which have now been publicly withdrawn, as well as the declarations of Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips as to the possible application of Islamic law to resolve disputes among Muslims.
Although this issue has already been widely commented and researched through multiple reports and research articles, it surprisingly remains evasive as to its purely legal aspect. Indeed, the place of Islamic law within the English legal frame is by nature multi-faceted and touches upon social, religious, political as well as legal issues, covering topics as different as that of marriage, divorce, maintenance and inheritance. The legal basis for the application of Sharia also proves to be ambiguous: contractual, statutory, in application of freedom of religion provisions? Moreover, in which forum is or should it apply: arbitration or mediation tribunals, such as the so-called Sharia Councils, or English Courts?
This symposium seeks to draw attention to only one of those issues: non-registered marriages between British Muslims in front of English jurisdictions. It proposes to survey the question of their possible recognition, and the latter’s subsequent legal basis. It consists of two panels. First, a survey on the application of Islamic law in English Courts in the context of Private International Law and the problem as well as new questions raised by UK non-registered Muslim marriages, whilst drawing attention from a comparative perspective of the possible incorporation of Islamic law within a secular legal frame (India). Secondly, the current English legal scenario from a practitioner’s angle, its advantages, limits and possible reforms.’
Date: 9th May 2015, 10.00am-4.00pm
Location: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Charge: Full Rate: £75.00. Student Rate: £45.00.
More information can be found here.