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Sharia councils inquiry launched

24 June 2016

The Home Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into Sharia councils operating in the UK. The Committee will examine how Sharia councils operate in practice, their work resolving family and divorce disputes and their relationship with the British legal system.

Terms of reference

Written evidence is invited on, but need not be restricted to, the following issues:

  • The services offered by Sharia councils and the reasons for why they are used
  • The basic tenets of Sharia law with reference to family, divorce, domestic violence and children and how those compare to the same in British law
  • The relationship between Sharia councils and the British legal system
  • The extent to which Sharia law is compatible with the principles of British law
  • The extent to which Sharia councils might discriminate against women
  • The costs involved with using Sharia councils and how Sharia councils are funded
  • Comparisons between Sharia councils and similar institutions for other faiths
  • How other, non-majority Muslim, countries have responded to Sharia councils operating within their jurisdictions
  • The role that Government has, or could have, in overseeing or monitoring Sharia councils

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Committee, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, said:

"The Committee has launched an inquiry into Sharia courts following much uncertainty regarding their role within communities in the UK.

We will be hearing evidence from both observers and practitioners of these courts, and are currently accepting written evidence on a wide-range of issues, including the compatibility of Sharia courts with British law."

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted online, by midday on 20 July 2016.

Further information

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