Published Date: 09 October 2008

SECRET talks are under way to bring Islamic sharia law courts to Scotland, The Scotsman has learned.
Qamar Bhatti, director of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT), which runs the courts, admitted discussions were taking place with lawyers and Muslim community groups in Scotland.

The group is believed to be aiming to set up courts in Edinburgh and Glascow.

In September it emerged that five sharia courts, ruling on civil cases from divorce to domestic violence and financial disputes, had been operating for more than a year in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and at MAT headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

The courts have legal powers, with their decisions enforceable through the county courts or high courts.

However, concerns have been raised about the establishment of a “dual legal system”.


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