Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system

John Bingham reports in the Telegraph that Sharia law is to be enshrined in the legal system of England and Wales for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.

This isn't coming from agitating Muslims or Sharia-friendly legislators, but from the 200-year-old Law Society – the professional association that represents and governs the solicitors' profession and provides services and support to solicitors as well as serving as a sounding board for law reform. That the Law Society should issue guidance to its members which effectively creates a parallel legal system to that which has evolved over centuries is, as some lawyers have said, "astonishing".

Of course Muslims should be able to order their own inheritance affairs as they wish, but it should be in accordance with the law of the land, for in a liberal democracy there is one law and all are equal before it. What is quite shocking about this Sharia guidance is that it circumvents equality legislation by specifically denying women an equal share of the deceased's inheritance: “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class,” it says. Thus do the sons prosper while the daughters live in penury: their only redemption is the dowry they attract on betrothal. There is also acknowledgement of polygamy, which is illegal in the UK. This is the Law Society of once-Christian England effectively facilitating the bartering of Muslim women like cattle. Equality can go to the lowest of the depths of Jahannam.

It is further reported that unbelievers and illegitimate children – "and even those who have been adopted" – may also be excluded from inheritance.

So the Law Society is not only upholding gender discrimination, but overt religious discrimination: "Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes."

They don't say anything about the inheritance entitlement of gay Muslim sons or lesbian daughters, but no doubt the Law Society bends to accommodate that particular sexuality discrimination, too.

All of this, according to Nicholas Fluck, President of The Law Society, promotes “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.

His Grace has long reported the efforts of Baroness Cox in combating Sharia-creep. And the former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, has long warned us of the regressive nature of Sharia law and its irreconcilability to the English system of jurispridence.

Baroness Cox is of the view that the Law Society's guidance "violates everything that we stand for.” She said: "It would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.” Bishop Michael is yet to speak, but in a sense he has already done so. He wrote back in 2008:
English law is rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition and, in particular, our notions of human freedoms derive from that tradition. In my view, it would be simply impossible to introduce a tradition, like Shari’a, into this Corpus without fundamentally affecting its integrity.

The Shari’a is not a generalised collection of dispositions. It is articulated in highly concrete codes called fiqh. It would have to be one or the other, or all, of these which would have to be recognised. All of these schools would be in tension with the English legal tradition on questions like monogamy, provisions for divorce, the rights of women, custody of children, laws of inheritance and of evidence. This is not to mention the relation of freedom of belief and of expression to provisions for blasphemy and apostasy.
Curiously, there is absolutely nothing about this guidance on the Law Society's website. Perhaps this ought to come as no surprise: the Telegraph reports that it was "quietly published this month and distributed to solicitors in England and Wales". But the subversion and covert manipulation are jaw-dropping:
It suggests deleting or amending standard legal terms and even words such as “children” to ensure that those deemed “illegitimate” are denied any claim over the inheritance. It recommends that some wills include a declaration of faith in Allah which would be drafted at a local mosque, and hands responsibility for drawing up some papers to Sharia courts. The guidance goes on to suggest that Sharia principles could potentially overrule British practices in some disputes, giving examples of areas that would need to be tested in English courts.

..“Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised. Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death. This means you should amend or delete some standard will clauses.” It advises lawyers to draft special exclusions from the Wills Act 1837, which allows gifts to pass to the children of an heir who has died, because this is not recognised in Islamic law.
The growth of Sharia courts, councils and tribunals is properly a matter for the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP. Those that are acting within the law may be monitored and their judgments appealed. But those which are operating unofficially, often within mosques, are now bolstered in their legitmacy by the Law Society.

It is utterly astonishing in England that centuries of Christian belief, custom and tradition must conform to every aspect of human rights legislation, while the imported beliefs, customs and traditions of Islam may trump those same rights. The integrity of our legal tradition is rooted in the moral and spiritual vision derived from the Bible. We abandon that at our peril.


Blogger Corrigan said... a liberal democracy there is one law and all are equal before it.

Well, obviously not "bigots", eh George Gissing?

23 March 2014 at 09:50  
Blogger Dazza said...

I think there is a difference between the Law Society publishing a practice note and enshrining Sharia in our legal system. Why ever would the Telegraph choose to overstate the position in this way?

You can see the Law Society's explanation of its guidance here:

There is no change to the law or the legal system here. Just a professional trade body explaining how its members can best serve the interests of its Muslim clients within the current law.

Nothing to see here folks, move along please.

23 March 2014 at 09:51  
Blogger Corrigan said...

That's my immediate reading as well, Dazza. I'm not an expert, but as I understand it, it doesn't matter what stipulations a Muslim might put in his will to make it Sharia compliant; he cannot exclude those who have lawful rights under the law as it stands. What will be interesting is whether or not the spineless, amoral liberals who constitute the Conservative/Labour parties will use these guidelines as a wedge to bring in "Sharia compliant" laws.

23 March 2014 at 09:56  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


Up you pop again, within minutes of His Grace posting, with further allegations of bigotry. Just like your fellow Cyber Swiss Guard member Dodo used to do. Indeed, you may be he.

This blog is a place of free religio-political speech. It is also unashamedly Anglican. That means that you may occasionally find articles upon it which do not accord with your rather robust Roman Catholic worldview.

If that upsets you, please just leave. Really, just go and find yourself a nice Roman Catholic blog where every utterance will accord with sweetness of your soul. It is intolerable - just as it was with Dodo - that you should pop up every morning and cry "bigotry".

23 March 2014 at 10:00  
Blogger Corrigan said...

As the kids say, Cranmer, take a chill pill. I just happened to be online when you posted. My point was that we're sure to soon start hearing screams of "agghh, Haters!" from the liberals when people rightly object to these guidelines, that's all. Sheessh, I'm broadly agreeing with you, man.

23 March 2014 at 10:04  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Don't patronise, Corrigan.

Instead you ought to reflect that even when you're "broadly agreeing" with His Grace you're still screaming "bigotry" and inhibiting reasoned debate. You hurl your insults and make your daily assertion of "anti-Catholicism", which will no longer be tolerated. Either engage with the substance of the matter or go.

23 March 2014 at 10:10  
Blogger Nick said...

As I understand it, this only applies to wills and does not require new legislation in Parliament, where our laws are made. Also, muslims have been able to get sharia-compliant loans and mortgages for many years, so this isn't anything new really.

I don't like this move by the Law Society, but I don't think it is quite the catastrophe it seems. What surprises me more is the silence, and therefore complicity, of the so-called "equality" movement over such a discriminatory practice. It does show how hollow these people are, and the feebleness of their resolve when dealing with the muslim community.

23 March 2014 at 10:38  
Blogger bluedog said...

From time to time, Your Grace, the representative bodies of professional groups that have wide powers of self-regulation get things very badly wrong. This is one such occasion. That the Law Society of England should make such an error in this backdoor of admission of sharia into English practice is grossly irresponsible. A considerable number of other jurisdictions around the world pay attention to English precedents. They must wonder what is going on.

After Cameron's breathless espousal of sharia-compliant finance a few months ago, something like this was inevitable, as many said at the time. Well here it is.

Ofsted will be thrilled. Just when they are fighting the Islamification of the school system in the Midlands, the ground is kicked out from under their feet by the Law Society's validation of sharia. The law is clearly too important to be left to lawyers, particularly the Law Society of England.

23 March 2014 at 10:59  
Blogger Len said...

Do not be too surprised at what is happening to the UK.
We have rejected the God of the Bible now we are getting by default a spiritual force 'Allah' who is the very antithesis of the God of the Bible.
We bring judgement on ourselves (courtesy of the humanists.)

23 March 2014 at 11:13  
Blogger Leagle1 said...

This really isn't a major change. All of this was done anyway, the document is merely a guidance for non-Muslim lawyers as to what a Muslim might want from his will and how to give it to him.

I am dubious as to whether the differing proportions in which sons and daughters inherit are compliant with the law on adequate provision, but that can be sorted out by a court, not a guidance document.

In the end, its their money so they should be able to leave it as they wish, even if we find their moral judgements to be abhorrent.

23 March 2014 at 11:23  
Blogger IanCad said...


"Sharia Creep"

I like that. For, it exactly illustrates the tactics of the more militant part of our Muslim community.

An "Islamic Gramscism," could we say?

Of course, the inevitable comparisons will be drawn with the well established Beth Din courts; the implemention of which is harmonious with our legal system and entirely voluntary.

However, the Jewish population in this country is well integrated and has well learned its lessons from the past. At least, in the areas where they still survive.

Specifically the isolation, forced or voluntary, that was evident in the Eastern European "Pales of Settlement."

Gather them all in one place, Allow them to conduct their affairs as a community within a country, and they became easy targets.

Given the large numbers, their distinctive dress, the vaunting of their aspirations, it would seem that the more earnest of our Muslim countrymen are setting out on a dangerous path.

That legal perogatives must be granted - if only because our Jewish brethren have such - is a given. These privileges cannot be any less, and, most definitely, absolutely no more than those obtained within the Beth Din structure of social legislation.

Now, when the camel gets his nose under the tent --- . Well, you know the rest of the story.

23 March 2014 at 11:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Presumably, this law still applies so that a Will can be challenged even if it is explicit:

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

I note that the Law Society lists the Sharia succession heirs and makes this point about Sharia:

The last sentence "To date the enforceability of such a claim has not been tested by the English courts." is interesting.

23 March 2014 at 11:30  
Blogger Manfarang said...

I must draw up a Buddhist will.

23 March 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

It is all about ways of generating more filthy lucre by the legal profession.

Wait til these wills get challenged and this amoral ba*^ard of a profession will be falling over themselves to get justice for their poor harassed clients at a cost per hour.

Cynical attempts to changes to the legal system by new case law orders by challenges, that will then affect the non muslim?

Sharia creep. INDEED!




Up you pop again, within minutes of His Grace posting, with further allegations of bigotry. Just like your fellow Cyber Swiss Guard member Dodo used to do. Indeed, you may be he." Get away.
*Huge giggles and chortles*

23 March 2014 at 11:45  
Blogger David Hussell said...

As much as I dislike certain recent Equalities derived laws, peddling false views of "equality", and which as yet lack freedom of conscience clauses, or "reasonable accommodation" for religious beliefs, I do hold firmly to the democratic principle that there can be only one law for everyone, from castle to cottage, and across the faith and racial spectrums. We weaken that at our considerable peril, so it must be non-negotiable.

Presumably the Law Society is attempting to increase the fees stream ? I would have expected a ethical stance from an apparently prestigious professional body, but I was clearly being naive. Let us hope that Parliament maintains the one law for all principle. Chaos and injustice will be the alternative.

23 March 2014 at 12:55  
Blogger Ps John Waller said...

"The integrity of our legal tradition is rooted in the moral and spiritual vision derived from the Bible. We abandon that at our peril".

But surely we abandoned that some time ago?

Why should we be surprised now at a code that seeks to delete the word "children" when so many "Christian" countries including our own are already deleting words like "husband", "wife", "father", & "mother" from the Law and replacing them with horrors like "progenitor A" and "progenitor B"?

These sharia terms are actually closer to the Judea-Christian vocabulary and tradition than those that Godless secularism has already imposed upon us all.

God help us

23 March 2014 at 13:40  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Presumably anyone in the UK making a will, of any religion or none, is entitled to leave a bigger share to his sons than to his daughters, if that’s what he wants to do, or a bigger share to his daughters than to his sons, or to disinherit any relatives he doesn’t like without having to explain why, or to leave everything to the RSPCA or to the Pope even to the Archbishop Cranmer blog, for that matter. Anyone who wanted to challenge the will in court would be required to prove that the deceased was of unsound mind at the time, or that he was acting under coercion. Otherwise, as far as I’m aware, the will stands, however unconventional or even unfair it may be.

And if a Muslim were to choose to make arrangements in his will that departed from Sharia norms, such as giving his sons and daughters equal shares or listing a non-Muslim among his heirs, might a British court accept that as sufficient grounds for declaring the will legally invalid?

As long as the answer is a definite No, then I would tend to agree with those commenters who see the Law Society guidelines as nothing more insidious than an attempt to give non-Muslim solicitors a helping hand when they have to deal with Muslim clients.

But is the answer a definite No? That, I would suggest, is the question that still needs to be addressed in greater detail.

23 March 2014 at 13:49  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Can’t see what the problem is meself. You can’t import several million aliens, tell them to obey the law as it is, and leave them to it. Yes, you SHOULD be able to, but it doesn’t work like that in practice. Never did. You’re also dealing with a people who have come here who’s militants have malice in their hearts for those not of their religion or no religion at all. Not to mention their culture.

So it’s the Law Society on their behalf. One is in no doubt that this initiative has been triggered by solicitors in heavily Islamified areas whining about lost work. Understandable – they pay their professional fees, they want to see something done for their money. Relocation is NOT an option, apparently, which is a damn shame as these blighters are playing right into the aforementioned militants hands.

As one started off, can’t see what the problem is. Perhaps it would be better stated as there is no point worrying about something that is ultimately going to happen anyway. One feels the Law Society would approve that sentiment...

23 March 2014 at 14:12  
Blogger Len said...

Be interesting to see what happens in areas where Sharia Law is in force.
There was a case recently where a Muslim' vigilante patrol 'were jailed for for harassing, intimidating and assaulting people on the streets of east London while claiming they were enforcing sharia law.

23 March 2014 at 14:20  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Corrigan, dear chap. You weren’t around a few years ago when our host laid it down for all to see, but you need to know he has a particular depreciation of the word ‘bigot’ and words derived thereof. You may have seen it used in this blog, but it’s context therein is absolute.

Personally, one feels your comments add much to this blog, but as you can see, that is not a universal view and even if it was, it would not save you

23 March 2014 at 14:26  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Who is this 'We' for whom you appear to represent? No one has consulted the people of this land. Have you forgotten that in 2008 the then ABC said something along the lines of 'some aspects of Sharia are not incompatible with existing legal provision?

The National Secular Society and Bishop Nasi-Ali and others were rightly outraged. We should be all equal under the law. That basic tenet is the foundation of this Country's unwritten constitution.

This stretching of accommodation by the Establishment has more to do with Saudi oil (more so now we are pissing off the Russians) and the attitude of The British Establishment in protecting the City's position in International Finance - not Humanists.

23 March 2014 at 14:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Maybe the Law Society was out when Cameron made his ‘Muslims must embrace our British values’ speech. ‘To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality’, the Telegraph predicted he would say. But Islamic inheritance law rejects the concept of equal rights for women, on the grounds that the female is inferior to the male. So, which element of Cameron’s British creed triumphs in this case—freedom of religion or equal rights regardless of sex? Yet another can of worms for the liberal Left to chew over and explain away in tortuous prose, desperately staunching yet another leak in the good ship Diversity. Watching Diversity heading for the rocks while her crew of panic stricken liberals run around like headless chickens is one of life’s great pleasures.

23 March 2014 at 14:42  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Forgive any lack of understanding but I thought that you could will your assets to whom ever. For example, I could will my whole estate to my dog but not my cat.
If I do not leave a will, then traditional British law should apply and neither my cat nor my dog would get a penny.
I do not want to see Sharia law enshrined in our law although I have come across some instances where their law seems sensible. An English woman I met in Dubai had great difficulty in getting her fair share of her husbands estate despite him having a will.
Lets keep things British.

23 March 2014 at 14:46  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
The Law Society is a law unto its self. They banned Christian Concern from holding a debate on their premises to discuss SSM.

23 March 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Integrity, as one understands the law as it is, if you leave everything to your dog, to the detriment of the cat, the cat has grounds to challenge the will. However, if you include the cat, and leave it a nominal sum of, say £ 100, you will evade at least the foremost successful ground for challenge, to wit, being completely overlooked when the will was drawn up due to anti cat sentiments of your advisors.

23 March 2014 at 14:58  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Now, how far is the Law Society willing to take this. ECHR level ? As that crowd uses Satan’s law, the judgment could go anyway...

23 March 2014 at 15:01  
Blogger A.K.A. Damo Mackerel said...

“Christianity is so consubstantial with the West, that any surrender on its part would have devastating consequences.” - Professor Marcello Pera

23 March 2014 at 15:05  
Blogger A.K.A. Damo Mackerel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 March 2014 at 15:05  
Blogger Owl said...

I do believe that the slippery slope is a sort of polygon, just with more sides than normal.

The idea of making any comparison withe the Beth Din courts is just a straw man.

This is a "cultural" change which requires some sort of official recognition or many little recognitions to make it culturally acceptable.

Amy acceptance of the Islamic culture requires a reduction of the Judeo Christian culture that presently exists.

Our current leaders in many walks of life are playing with fire (again).

23 March 2014 at 15:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I suppose we should ignore that fact that we had primogeniture in England for land for most of our history, and that there were laws of coverture setting out an unequal relationship in marriage.

23 March 2014 at 15:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Not my own words but too succinct to pass by:

It's a typical example of the liberal nature of British laws/customs being bent to illiberal ends by a large community that does not share the basic cultural assumptions behind it.

23 March 2014 at 15:51  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

DanJ0, it was the agreed norm all over then. Nobody had an issue with it. You see, it wasn't a foreign imposition...

23 March 2014 at 15:57  
Blogger Integrity said...

When my wife's grandfather died, his will said I leave all my worldly goods to my son. No mention of his two daughters. It was said that the will could not be challenged.

23 March 2014 at 16:04  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Integrity, sounds like that would have been some decades ago. One thinks he remembers the precedent for the current successful ground for challenging complete exclusion from a will happened in the case of a family member who was clearly the individual’s carer. Of course, once a precedent is set, it can be expanded to include, for example, a grandchild who could claim an interest in the will too, say by regular visits over the years. The defence to this possible defiance is to include ALL who may be a threat to your final intent and to bequest them a nominal sum.

23 March 2014 at 16:32  
Blogger Roy said...

How about Old Testament laws? "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" might prove quite popular with at least some of the victims of crime.

Do any other religions have codes of laws? I doubt if Buddhists do (but am open to correction) but what about Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Baha'is, the Druze, Parsees etc.?

Since China might well replace the United States as the world's most powerful country within the lifetimes of many, perhaps most, people alive today shouldn't we base our laws on the teaching of Confucius?

23 March 2014 at 16:42  
Blogger Len said...

Dreadnaught,'Who is the 'we' who have rejected the God of the bible'.

The people who have actively rejected God are those who have a vested interest in denying the God of the Bible because He conflicts with their interests whether these be intellectual ,sexual,or just plain rebellion against authority.A group of people are much more easy to control morally socially and financially if you can replace their firm moral base and replace it with a' no absolutes' 'moral' base where everything is subject to change. .Once you have destroyed their foundations you can build your own.

This small vocal minority have led the rest of society into believing that those they were following were doing it 'for the good of the majority' and they have done a really good job of convincing the crowd of this.
"Let us throw off their chains" and liberate ourselves" they say" who is this God of the bible to tell us what to do".
The tragedy of this is there is no vacuum in the spiritual world and if we have no God of the bible we will get another spirit being totally opposed to God who will become our god by default.

23 March 2014 at 17:19  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Dear Manfrang,

Your suggestion of a Buddhist will is a great idea.

You just have to work out what you are going to come back as in the next life.

23 March 2014 at 17:25  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Dear Manfrang,

Your suggestion of a Buddhist will is a great idea.

You just have to work out what you are going to come back as in the next life.

23 March 2014 at 17:25  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Although studiously ignored by the liberal, generally anti-Christian, western media the rapidly growing faith of China, is not one of its indigenous ones, but perhaps surprisingly, Christianity, in its various forms. A group of wide ranging government sponsored academics concluded, after conducting extensive cultural studies, that it was Christianity (note past tense), that had given the west it's former impetus towards economic ascendency, but that's not the sort of message that our liberal media would want to ponder, let alone disseminate, is it ?
Obtaining exact numbers of converts is however difficult since as well as the government approved "official" Churches, there are a plethora of illegal, unofficial, non-sanctioined Churches that rely on secrecy for their survival. The Catholic Church in particular, for example, resists government influence on their particular local churches, which is entirely understandable.

The famous OT "eye for an eye,...." is according to some theologians (and I agree with them) more of an expression for the general need for equivalence, balance and proportionality when assessing fair and just punishments for possible crimes, than an actual, concrete law or rule, since nowhere is it ever imposed as a specific sanction. It also, counter-culturally, removes any weighting for the socially superior over inferiors, treating all people as equals, when considering punishments for wrong-doing, regardless of the relative social status of victim and assailant, an advanced idea for the time and place.

23 March 2014 at 17:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


I can understand(I think)where you are coming from but no one or any body has specifically set out to remove God or religion from anywhere. The Christian Religion hasn't been been attacked from without as much as it has been attacked from within its own ranks since it's very fist emergence.

What the Church in England has lost, is existence by the endorsement of the tyranny of royal and parliamentary patronage that made many lives miserable and arbitrary, if not downright precarious.

Surely, shifting the blame for your unease to the activities of non-specific agencies is to ignore the 'plank in your eye' as it were.

I would say that our lives today are more free and enhanced that at any other time and Christian religion in all its forms is more open to access than ever.

23 March 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

The Law Society shouldn't be caving in like this so much for them being an upstanding pillar of society. I think Blofield makes a good point.

For the muslim solicitors living and practising in this country, they should be upholding and practising British law NOT their own, otherwise go live in Saudi Arabia.

They should have to embrace, practice and promote British law amongst their communities who all have chosen to live here instead of a muslim country. If they don't want to do that then they should have to shut up shop, be fined or both. We can't have a contradictory law system otherwise nobody
would be inclined to uphold the law and we'd have chaos.

23 March 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

The revelation about the Law Society speaks loudly about attitude.

Lady Hale, deputy President of the Supreme Court, was reported on 23rd March 2014 to have said in a speech at Yale that:
...”It is not difficult to see why the Christians feel that their religious beliefs are not being sufficiently respected,” she said.
“Other religions with stricter dress codes or dietary laws are demanding concessions which Christians feel that it is harder to claim because they cannot point to equivalent religious requirements..."

The comment reveals a) a clear failure to understand faith and religion and
b) that she, and others in the legal profession have a markedly different attitude towards Islam compared to Christianity.

The reality is that many of the dress codes of Islam are no more or less strict than Christianity but she reveals how judges perceive them to be stricter and more sincerely held in Islam. Which is patently nonsense, but it is what she thinks. It is an attitude revealed.

It shows a worrying level of religious discrimination in the judiciary.

This news from the law society is no different. It simply reveals how entrenched this attitude is throughout the legal profession.

Equality is not understood at all as revealed by their actions much more than their words.

23 March 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger Tanfield said...

Your Grace,
Within the last 2 years you published details of a Solicitors Continuing Professional Development Course (all Solicitors in England and wales have to do 16 hours of this per year) run by a private company relating to Sharia Compliant Wills. At the time it was expected to be the thin end of the wedge. Now this shows how true that was.
I very much regret that my professional body (which does not have a good reputation amongst rank and file solicitors such as myself) has done something further to lower its reputation not only with its members but with society as a whole
Where will this end ?

23 March 2014 at 18:51  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Tanfield, “...has done something further to lower its reputation not only with its members but with society as a whole”

Ground zero for your types reputation came when advertising was (unwisely) permitted. This man must have been approached more than a hundred times by footpads on the streets, leaflets through the door, telephone calls, and that’s not including local newspaper adverts offering to sue the world on his behalf on a no win no fee basis.

That REALLY makes a man extremely ANGRY !!!

Short of pro bono work for convicted paedophiles, it’s difficult to imagine solicitors reputation getting any worse...

23 March 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

...and no, the Inspector DOESN’T want a free neck brace, in case you’re offering.

23 March 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Following on from grumpyoldcl's comments @ 18.42,

Wasn't it the former A of C (bless his cotton socks) who suggested that ignorance of matters of faith amongst the judiciary was leading to perverse judgements? His suggested way forward was to create a specialised, faith trained panel of judges ? That advice was issued in the context of a perceived bias (and probably actual bias) against committed Christians, I recall.

Amongst former generations, and especially the supposedly well educated like lawyers, one would have found some general understanding of Christian ideas, but that is certainly no longer the case throughout much of society, including of course MP's.
Added to that recently developed knowledge vacuum, one has the enormous range of imported, exotic faiths regarding which, unsurprisingly, most people of all types have little to no understanding at all. So it is hardly surprising that judges act on the basis of often distorted perceptions of the requirements of differing faith groups, and not considered sound theology. It all points to the wisdom of the advice from the now retired A of C. Perhaps he did get a few things right ?

23 March 2014 at 19:16  
Blogger Roy said...

The more I think about the idea of having other systems of law, the more I like it. The Welsh could reintroduce the laws of Hywel Dda (Howel the Good) which were remarkably enlightened for the time.

Hywel Dda

The only thing that really annoys me about the subject described by Cranmer is that the Law Society should be discussing Hywel Dda and not Sharia. Britain has only had a sizeable Moslem population since the 1960s whereas the Welsh are the original Britons.

The Law Society needs to deal with Welsh law before it gets on to the laws of Johnny-come-latelies.

23 March 2014 at 19:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack wonders how many people don't get rid of their wealth before they die. Why not give your assets to your children (on paper, anyways), at least 7 years before your death, and that way you escape any care home fees and death duty?

Jack suspects Muslims would be more inclined to trust their relatives than modern day Westerners, both atheist and Christian.

Roy, Happy Jacks says the Welsh should be subject to the laws of the land as determined in Westminster. Hush with all this independence nonsense. Accept your position as a conquered people who don't have a country anymore - just a quaint little region.


Jack is only teasing. He says anyone can make whatever will they desire and, if its 'unusual' a solicitor can help ensure it holds. I'm sure any good Welsh solicitor can advise you -unless he's too busy sorting out sheeping affairs.

23 March 2014 at 20:39  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Quite !

Sounds like serious "Welshophobia" to me.

Long live Hywel Dda !

23 March 2014 at 20:40  
Blogger Corrigan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 March 2014 at 20:42  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Surely British law still applies, and any person disadvantaged under a Sharia will would be able to challenge it under British law.
More work for lawyers perhaps?

23 March 2014 at 20:49  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

There's a petition to sign here needing another 81 signatures:

23 March 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Marie 1797

Is it only Muslims who allowed to "discriminate" in this way? If Fred Jones, say, who is an Anglican or a Methodist or anything else, wants to make a will leaving 90 percent of his estate to his one illegitimate daughter and the other 10 percent to be shared between his four legitimate sons, isn't he free to do so? To the best of my knowledge, despite recent changes to the law, he is still free to do that. Which, in my view, is the way it ought to be. It's his money and he ought to be free to leave it to whoever he wants.

23 March 2014 at 22:15  
Blogger Theo said...

It will be most interesting to observe the legal argumements that will ensue on Muslim intestate deaths.

23 March 2014 at 22:19  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

That's not the point Uncle Brian.

According to that Nicholas Fuck of the Law Society, he thinks applying Islamic principles in the British legal system will promote “good practice”. This is not true at all.
What it will do apart from generate more business for solicitors and lawyers is encourage a two tier society. It does nothing for cohesion, and it undermines our own British Law.
It's a another little step towards becoming and Islamic state.

23 March 2014 at 23:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie, is his name really Nicholas Fuck? Goodness, that's worse than being named Sue!

23 March 2014 at 23:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...


What's wrong with being called Nicholas?

23 March 2014 at 23:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...


With a name like that, I'll bet Signora Neroni would like to meet him.

23 March 2014 at 23:45  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Marie 1797

Marie1797 said...
That's not the point Uncle Brian.

Sorry to disagree, Marie, but that's exactly the point. Anybody should be free to leave his estate to the heirs of his choice. If a Muslim wants to follow the sharia rule, OK. If a Muslim wants to disregard sharia and leave his whole estate to just one of his daughters, or even to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that's OK too. He can't be forced to make a sharia-compliant will, right? It's only if he wants to. He's free to choose.

24 March 2014 at 00:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack said...Happy Jack wonders how many people don't get rid of their wealth before they die. Why not give your assets to your children (on paper, anyways), at least 7 years before your death, and that way you escape any care home fees and death duty?

That's a grand motion, HJ. Can I give you my in-laws' email address and can you start working your wiles on them? Ten percent, cash on the barrel, if you succeed.

24 March 2014 at 00:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Manfarang said:

I must draw up a Buddhist will.

We can't wait. How about I get the begging bowl (just filed my taxes and I'll need one), Happy Jack gets the rosaries (since he's heading in a rosaries direction anyway), Dreadnaught gets your prayer wheel (because it would piss him off) and the Inspector gets your saffron robes to use as curtains (to impress the foxes he lures to his lair)?

24 March 2014 at 00:19  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Uncle Brian
There shouldn't be a choice of sharia-compliant will or not in this country. Yes he is free to bequeath his estate to whomever he wishes.
But as a follower of Islam a sharia-compliant will is all he will want to be able to do, and this panders to that whim.

Oops Happy Jack, tiny spelling mistake LOL :-)

24 March 2014 at 00:31  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says sorry mate, the in-laws either trust you or they don't. No middle-men in this one. Besides, you don't get to spend the money. It's a tax dodge.

Explorer, good heavens man. Poor Signora Neroni. She has had a tough life and we mustn't add to this.

Marie, just a little mistake and it made Jack chuckle.

24 March 2014 at 00:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Just for the record, in case I'm handed a transcript of all this by the investigators, Jack, I was kidding. In-laws are burning through the inherence with a vengeance on Alaskan, Mesoamerican and Mediterranean cruises anyway.

24 March 2014 at 01:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Another "for the record":

Roy said: How about Old Testament laws? "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" might prove quite popular with at least some of the victims of crime.

Never meant yanking-out the guilty party's eye as retribution. Meant that monetary compensation had to be of a standard amount, regardless of the status or financial worth of the victim...or the financial situation of the guilty party. In contrast, all other law codes had different scales according to status and position.

Thank you for visiting Barzel, Barzel & Barzel, your experts in biblical and Talmudic laws. Free consultation available. Call again...

24 March 2014 at 01:36  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Avi Barzel,

'an eye for an eye...."

Your interpretation above confirms my understanding of the famous phrase as suggested @ 17.48. Given your lineage and faith my understanding is affirmed.

24 March 2014 at 08:28  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I have consulted with Sir Abraham Haphazard, who has a very low opinion of the Law Society. His response was ' Fluck 'em!'

24 March 2014 at 08:46  
Blogger Len said...

Mrs Proudie,

Perhaps those are the sentiments of most of the population of the UK.

24 March 2014 at 08:52  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah dear Len, I agree most heartily...

24 March 2014 at 10:28  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

I seem to recall a report some time ago that many senior members of the legal profession are actually Muslims but not publicly - taqiyya in action, I suppose.

24 March 2014 at 10:56  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ian Cad,

23 March 2014 11:26

We've covered this ground before. To add to previous conversations, I'd say that a full blown Sharia court would want more than just the power to arbitrate in community affairs, but have power over criminal cases as well, something which no Jewish Bet Din could claim (according to Jewish law).

A Jewish Bet Din, is a different affair and focuses on religious matters & arbitrates civil disputes within the Jewish community (i.e. it claims and does not want to claim power over non-Jews), such as divorce, marriage, conversion, Kosher certification. All of this is of course subject to British law, is completely voluntary and the British courts are quite happy to go against Jewish legal customs:

24 March 2014 at 12:09  
Blogger IanCad said...


I did write: "the implemention of which is harmonious with our legal system and entirely voluntary."

And further; I observed that camels are rarely satisfied with just a sniff.

24 March 2014 at 13:09  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Relax my man, that post of mine wasn't a criticism of yours... merely an addition to it.

24 March 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Dreadnaught gets your prayer wheel (because it would piss him off)

Priceless. ROFLMAO!

24 March 2014 at 14:12  
Blogger IanCad said...

Wasn't sure David, thus the gentle rebuttal, just in case.

24 March 2014 at 14:16  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Jews debate endlessly, it is our pastime. But if I come across as argumentative, I'd say 'tis the problem with the internet. I'd rather sit down and discuss these things over a fine malt, some Shmaltz herring & Falafel.

24 March 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear David, I love's like a Jewish hobnob, by which I mean comfort food. If you can swap the fine malt for a decent claret I will hoist my petticoats and climb into the barouche...

24 March 2014 at 19:34  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Maybe Avi would join us? Oh the larks, the larks...

24 March 2014 at 19:35  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 March 2014 at 20:21  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

My Dear Mrs Proudie,

Yes indeed Falafel is a good comfort food. You are indeed the quintessential English lady, when it comes to thing that matter most in life, a solid rock of Gibraltar that is the anchor of England. And of course, I will indeed seek the advises of the vineyards of the Rothschild's to obtain claret for Scotch... the larks would indeed be great if Mr Barzel joined us. Along with several others, the regulars here,aside from my own family :

Explorer, Dreadnaught, Ian Cad, Happy Jack, Inspector, Carl Jacobs, Danjo, Darter, Cressida De Nova, David Hussell, Uncle Brian,Lucy Mullen, Sister Tibs and anyone else I've forgotten... and of course our illustrious hoot Cranmer. That's if he had a corporeal form

24 March 2014 at 20:24  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

PS -Not to forget the New Testament Sage, Ernsty and his Tiddles. OK and I guess Len have come in and have a glass of ale as well...

24 March 2014 at 20:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David Kavanagh said..

Great news lad. When is it happening and can I park me disability scooter outside without some young un's nicking me wheels off and it being left propped up on a few bricks?



Is there pickled herring for tiddles, who says "Shalomeow"

24 March 2014 at 20:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David K:

I'm sure the generosity of spirit revealed in your sentiments is greatly appreciated by all concerned.

24 March 2014 at 20:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

No party would be complete without this "Dodo" fellow Happy Jack keeps hearing about. Think of the fun Blowers would have hunting him on his new contraption. Mind you, Jack is wondering if that old scallywag might be the elusive duck.


24 March 2014 at 21:04  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Well I suggest a post-prandial at the 'Twisted Curate' on Mincing Alley her in Barchester, then staggering on to the 'Shovitt Inn' on Bogleclench Passage for a slap up dinner with lots of herring. Formal dress, obviously. I have a splendid new gown from the House of Worth, modelled on the one worn by the Empress Eugenie at Longchamps when 'Zut Alors; won 'Perfidious Albion' by a furlong.

24 March 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 March 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 March 2014 at 23:21  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

I am sure we could make room for our old avian friend, best not let him get near Mr E's Tiddles though...


Thank you, I do have a sense of humour after all...

Mrs Proudie,

The 'Twisted Curate' seems like a fascinating place. And of course, I'd be dressed in my finest homburg and Mrs K in her most colourful Sari...

24 March 2014 at 23:25  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blowers my old man

Of course there shall be pickled herring for Tiddles. Although doubtless my sister will bring her two labradors (Benjamin and Shimon,named respectfully after Israel's Prime Minister and President) along. Does Tiddles mind dogs?

As for your mobile scooter, our next door neighbours are Sikhs, so I am sure Mr Sing will guard it with his life, or if the worst comes to the worst we could put it in Mr Barzel's 'pork chop express' (a la 'Knight rider' style, without the Hoff)

Allons Y!

24 March 2014 at 23:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jacks says be careful who you trust oversight of your nuts to. Wheels nuts, that is.


25 March 2014 at 00:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Blowers my old man

Of course there shall be pickled herring for Tiddles. (Yippee!)

Although doubtless my sister will bring her two labradors (Benjamin and Shimon,named respectfully after Israel's Prime Minister and President) along. Does Tiddles mind dogs? (Indeed she does.

£6.50 per hour, per dog. The problem of feeding them is the owners!! *Chortles*)"



Happy Jack said...


25 March 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger Neil Addison said...

There has been an hysterical overeaction to the Law Society's Guidance on the drafting of Sharia Compliant Wills.

English Law permits people to draft wills according to their own desires. If they want to give less to daughters than sons then they are allowed to do so. If they only want to bequeath money to persons of a specific religion, whether Muslim, Mormon or Methodist then they are entitled to do so just in the same way that they are entitled to cut a child out of the will for any irrational reason they wish. Many relatives disagree with how particular wills are written but that is the decision of the person making the wiil.

The job of a lawyer is to draft a will that reflects the clients wishes it is not the job of a lawyer to impose their views on the Client or to draft a will that would be "socially acceptable" to the Equality and Human Rights Commission; the Equality Act does not extend to the dead, yet.

The critics of the Law Society have in fact got a lot in common with extremist supporters of Sharia. Both want to impose their views on others rather than allowing individuals to make their own choices including choices as to how to dispose of their own property after their death

25 March 2014 at 20:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Strange, Mr Addison that no guidelines have been given by the Law Society for the compliance of framing a Jewish Will: Halakhah And Inheritance for lawyers that find themselves dealing with the difficult inheritance laws of the Torah?

Anybody of sound mind might think that you lawyers are 'Allah chasing' or phishing in the lucrative Muslim pond here.

A lot of people distrust therefore hate lawyers because they represent the interests of people and corporations without really caring who they are, what they did, what harm they caused, or, how culpable they are.

They launch many attacks on a specific subject so as to seek a legal precedent/change in case law so by little steps they change the laws for further financial gain for their own self serving industry...more meat for the grinder!!

Look at abortion..The original act bares no relationship to where we now stand with it carried out on an industrial scale because of concerted attacks and looking for precedents by your, err, profession, so that it now covers nearly every eventuality the consumer demands from the national health service?

Cranmer stated"
But this guidance is also not a "non-story" because it shows The Law Society to be hypocritical, duplicitous and fundamentally anti-Christian."

It appears you are a lawyer first and roman catholic second, like your com-padres in Parliament!!

The only 2 things you can be sure of in life is
1.when you hire a lawyer is that you will be billed and outrageously so.
2. You will die.

If you hire a carpenter to fix a door, he doesn't get paid until you are satisfied.

Not so with your 'ethical' profession. The lawyer can do a terrible job, shaft their client and end up costing you a bundle of money and you will still get the bill.

The Law Society, Runs by Lawyers, for Lawyers!

"At a convention of biological scientists one researcher remarks to another,

"Did you know that in our lab we have recently switched from using rodents to lawyers for our experiments?"

"Really?" the other replied, "Why did you switch?"... "Well, for four reasons.

First we found that lawyers are far more plentiful, second, the lab assistants don't get so attached to them, and thirdly, there are some things that even a rat won't do and finally, neither the animal rights activists nor the human rights activists get at all upset about it.

However, the only disadvantage to using lawyers instead of rats in laboratory experiments is that it's impossible to extrapolate the test results to practical applications to human beings.

What's the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer drawing up a will? A bad lawyer can let a contested case drag out for several years.

A good lawyer can make it last even longer.

Q: What do you call a lawyer whose gone really bad?
A: A Parliamentarian.

Old Ernst has always found that looking for an honest lawyer was best stated by Diogenes of Sinope ;

"A lawyer and a physician had a dispute over precedence. They referred
it to Diogenes, who gave it in favor of the lawyer as follows: "Let the
thief go first, and the executioner follow.""

Now be off with you Addison.

Haven't you got people to fleece?



Mark Twain notes...
"It is interesting to note that criminals have multiplied of late, and lawyers have also; but I repeat myself."

"The critics of the Law Society have in fact got a lot in common with extremist supporters of Sharia. Both want to impose their views on others rather than allowing individuals to make their own choices including choices as to how to dispose of their own property after their death"

Well, we all know who the first lawyer was to challenge the Law, don't we..."Now the Slimy One was more clever than any animal of the field that the LORD God had made. It asked the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You are not to eat from any tree of the garden'?"

I utterly loathe Lawyers!!!!

26 March 2014 at 02:30  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


What about the case of awad_v_ziriax in the case of sharia law incorporated into a secular view within the state of Oklahoma.

In this , the plaintiff relied on standing regarding his sharia compliant will.

The UCLA Law professor stated;

"But the presence of words in a law — even words that express endorsement or disapproval of religion — does not yield standing.

2. The plaintiff also argues that he suffers a more tangible injury, because his will directs the executor of the estate to follow Islamic law in arranging the funeral, and directs his wife to contribute to charity in accordance with Islamic law. The constitutional amendment, the plaintiff argues, bars courts from effectively probating the will in accordance to the plaintiff’s wishes, and thus unconstitutionally discriminates against plaintiff.

It’s not clear to me whether plaintiff might lack standing on the grounds that the harm will only happen some time in the future, or whether he could in principle have standing in such a case because the prospect of the courts’ inability to apply Sharia law in the future might cause sufficient harm to plaintiff now. (All this would involve the legal requirement of “ripeness.”)

But in any case, I think plaintiff has a deeper problem here: Even without the constitutional amendment, the First Amendment would bar American courts from “consider[ing] Sharia law” in interpreting the will. I blogged about this general point here, but the short version is this: Under the Court’s precedents (e.g., Presbyterian Church in the United States v. Mary Elizabeth Blue Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church (1969)), secular courts may not resolve questions that require interpretation of religious doctrine.

26 March 2014 at 03:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

This would include, I think, decisions about what Sharia law — or kosher law or the proper understanding of Presbyterian doctrine — requires, even when a contract or will calls for such interpretation. Thus, lower courts have held that, for instance, “a court [deciding a church property dispute] can invoke a secular interpretation of church deeds, by-laws and canons, thereby avoiding judicial entanglement in issues of religious doctrine, polity and practice. When the application of this standard requires judicial involvement in a [religious] doctrinal question, however, it may not be relied upon.” “[P]rovisions in deeds or in denomination’s constitution for the reversion of local church property to the general church, if conditioned upon a finding of departure from doctrine, could not be civilly enforced [quoting and endorsing a concurring opinion in a different Supreme Court case].” Likewisee, see this case, which refused to decide whether a church “cease[d] to be a Southern Baptist Church,” language that appeared in the church’s bylaws and that would be judicially interpretable if it hadn’t required resolution of questions of religious doctrine.

So the amendment would thus have no tangible effect on the probate of plaintiff’s will. The will’s references to Sharia would be unenforceable in secular courts even without the amendments, just as terms in a will that require compliance with Orthodox Jewish doctrine or with Southern Baptist doctrine could not be enforced. (Terms in a will that expressly set forth certain secularly determinable requirements would be enforceable, even if the requirements were religiously motivated; but that remains true under the Oklahoma constitutional amendment as well.)

3. More broadly, it’s hard to tell what exactly the Oklahoma amendment would do. It might or might not bar the consideration of Sharia Law in cases that call for the application of foreign law, whether, say, Saudi contract law or Israeli family law applicable to Muslims. But given the amendment’s broader ban on the use of foreign law, I don’t think the amendment would in fact discriminate against Sharia law in this respect.

If the amendment banned religious exemption claims brought by Muslims under existing religious accommodation rules that would otherwise apply to a wide range of religions, then it would be unconstitutionally discriminatory. But it’s not clear that considering such accommodation requests would be seen as “considering … Sharia Law”; it might well just be seen as considering the particular claimant’s sincere religious beliefs, with no requirement for the courts to consider their relationship with Sharia."

Will we find ourselves under secular law courts in England, trying to determine religious doctrine from sharia complaint wills, as the USA may find impossible to do also? Is the above a prophetic vision of what lays ahead for us?

26 March 2014 at 03:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Never an answer back from the aggressively rabid Neil Addison , is there?


Comes, offers a snide comment, then slinks off, crawling on his belly back to Chambers.

As God said regarding lawyers, "You will be the lowest of animals as long as you live.

Man up.


27 March 2014 at 00:41  

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