Plural approaches to faith-based dispute resolution by Britain’s Muslim communities
The role of Muslim faith-based dispute resolution forums in family matters continues to be fiercely contested in British legal and political debate. Questions concerning compatibly with state law in England and Wales led to a government instigated Independent Review into the Application of Sharia Law in England and Wales (2018). This Review concluded that there should be compelled registration of all Muslim religious marriages, an awareness campaign to enable Muslim couples to understand the legal outcomes of unofficial marriages better, and regulation of Sharia Councils. While these recommendations seek to overcome perceived disadvantages suffered by Muslim women, in reality there exist a plurality of views and approaches to marriage, families and faith-based dispute resolution within British Muslim communities, which continue to be overlooked. This paper draws on extensive empirical research engaging Muslims in Britain seeking to ascertain views and approaches to dispute resolution in family matters. It postulates a narrative of plurality, and concludes that the independent Review recommendation to regulate Sharia Councils is most responsive to the research findings and diverse Muslim family needs.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
Citation : Akhtar, R.C. (2019) Plural approaches to faith-based dispute resolution by Britain’s Muslim communities, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 31(3).
ISSN : 1358-8184
Research Institute : Institute for Evidence-Based Law Reform (IELR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Department of Law