21 December 2015

May orders independent review into Sharia courts

Theresa May has ordered an independent inquiry into Sharia courts to begin in the new year amid concerns that they operate a parallel system of justice that discriminates against women.

It comes after the government’s counter-extremism strategy highlighted claims that women in the Sharia system were unaware of their rights to leave violent husbands and were being pressed to attend reconciliation sessions despite injunctions to protect them. Men and women have been charged different fees by Sharia courts for the same service and women face lengthier processes for divorce than men, it has been claimed.

Estimates of the number of such courts in Britain vary from 30 to 85. This month 150 women’s organisations urged the government to ban courts seeking to uphold Islamic law. [The Times (£)] Read more