Sharia in UK
Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice and England’s most senior judge, has re-opened the possibility of Islamic sharia law some day being recognised as part of the legal system in England and Wales. Speaking at the East London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, Lord Phillips said that sharia suffered from ‘widespread misunderstanding’.
He said: ‘There is no reason why sharia principles, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution’. However, such a code would still be subject to the ‘jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts’.
Several months ago the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, also suggested that sharia could play a role in ‘aspects of marital law, the regulation of financial transactions and authorised structures of mediation and conflict resolution’ and was widely criticised for his remarks.