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News – Sharia divorce

February 2009

Sharia divorce


A senior judge and former head of the Family Division, Baroness Butler-Sloss, has called for UK judges to stop granting civil divorces to separating Muslim couples unless they had already been through a religious divorce. She claimed the move would end the ‘injustice’ of women being left unable to remarry if their husband refused to grant them a divorce, because under Islam only men have the power to end marriages.

     In a debate that she chaired on ‘Islam and English Law’ at London’s Temple Church, Lady Butler-Sloss, England’s first female Appeal Court judge, called for ministers to change the law for Muslims, so that a decree absolute could not be issued by a civil court until evidence had been obtained of a sharia divorce.


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