Sharia law enshrined in British legal system for first time

British Law Society produces guidelines by which solicitors can draft wills in accordance with Islamic law which are valid under UK law.

March 23, 2014 21:56
1 minute read.
Muslim women

Women in full face veils walk in London's Regents Park. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Sharia law is set to be enshrined in the British legal system for the first time ever, as lawyers will be given guidelines for drawing up "Sharia compliant wills,"The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The Law Society has produced guidelines by which lawyers can draft Islamic wills that exclude non-believers and refuse an equal share of inheritance for women, according to the report.

The guidelines also allow for excluding illegitimate or adopted children from an inheritance.

Law Society President Nicholas Fluck told the Telegraph that the guidelines, which would be accepted by British courts, would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.

According to the Telegraph, the document was published this month in England and Wales to “assist solicitors who have been instructed to prepare a valid will, which follows Sharia succession rules” while remaining valid under British law.

The issue of integrating the country's 1.8 million Muslims has been widely debated since July 2005, when four British Islamists carried out suicide bombings on London's transport network, killing 52 people.

Sharia is the body of Islamic religious law based on the Koran, the words and actions of the Prophet Mohammad and his companions, and rulings of Islamic scholars. It covers issues including worship, commercial dealings, marriage and penal laws.

It is implemented in varying degrees in Muslim countries.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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