Islamic courts will be able to decide how a Muslim couple divide their money and property and who gets the children
Islamic courts have been cleared to deal with family and divorce disputes.
Sharia tribunals will be able to decide how a Muslim couple divide their money and property and who gets the children.
The sole proviso from Jack Straw’s Justice Ministry is that a formal law court must rubber-stamp the ruling.
This would be in the form of a two-page form sent to a judge sitting in a family court. The divorcing couple would not need to attend.
The decision follows nine months of controversy over the role of tribunals run according to Islamic strictures.
In February, Downing Street slapped down the Archbishop of Canterbury when he suggested the rise of sharia law seemed ‘unavoidable’.
But in July, Lord Phillips, who has since retired as Lord Chief Justice, said sharia principles could be the basis for resolving family and business disputes.
Muslim ministers have warned that sharia should not have an official role because it accords unequal status to men and women.
Giving more weight to evidence from men could hand them a greater share of property and enhanced custody rights.