Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sharia Courts In Britain Operating Under The Arbitration Act 1996

There are many things I consider important in life. The ability to live and let live is one. If it doesn't negatively affect anyone else you should be free to live your life as you see fit. I also believe in the rule of law and that enforcement of the law should be done on equal and fair basis.

As a libertarian I believe it is also right that should you wish to resolve a civil dispute you should be able to do so through means other than a court of law. However I do not then believe you should be able to enforce any subsequent agreements through the court of law which you didn't go to originally.

And finally I believe you are free to believe in whatever you wish, but that the Government should be free of religious influence and the rule of law should be secular and if not blind to religion then at least neutral. Of course we are a long way off from that in this country (established religion et al) but we should not move further away from that principle.

The Arbitration Act has allowed Sharia courts to be set up in this country
working as an alternative to the civil courts. I'm ok with that. What I am not happy with is that rulings made at those courts can be enforced by the civil courts! The courts work in the name of the people and should not be used to enforce religious rulings. I understand that other such courts (such as a Jewish version) operate here. I am completely opposed to all such courts, and I'm not picking on Islam.

We must operate under a one law for all system if the rule of law is to have any meaning whatsoever, otherwise what is to stop me from picking and choosing which court system I choose based on what I think would get me the best outcome? And what is to stop others from applying pressure on the vulnerable party in a dispute to force them to choose the system which will most benefit the opposing side???

No comments: