1st Edition

The Sharia Inquiry, Religious Practice and Muslim Family Law in Britain

Edited By Samia Bano Copyright 2023

    In February 2018, the ‘Independent Review on Sharia Law in England and Wales’ was published, headed by Professor Mona Siddiqui. The review focused on whether sharia law is being misused or applied in a way that is incompatible with the domestic law in England and Wales, and, in particular, whether there were discriminatory practices against women who use sharia councils. It came about after years of concerns raised by academics, lawyers and women’s activists.

    This timely collection of essays from experts, scholars and legal practitioners provides a critique and evaluation of the Inquiry findings as a starting point for analysis and debate on current British Muslim family law practices in the matters of marriage and divorce. At the heart of the collection lie key questions of state action and legal reform of religious practices that may operate ‘outside the sphere of law and legal relations’ but also in conjunction with state law mechanisms and processes.

    This cutting-edge book is a must read for those with an interest in Islamic law, family law, sociology of religion, human rights, multiculturalism, politics, anthropology of law and gender studies.

    Introduction Samia Bano

    1. Religious-Only Marriages in England and Wales: Taking the Long View Rebecca Probert

    2. Women and Shari’a Law: The Impact of Soft Legal Pluralism in the UK Elham Manea

    3. Shariah Councils in the UK: Reform and Regulation Dr Islam Uddin

    4. Domestic Abuse: The Dichotomy of Choosing between Informal and Formal Forum for Mediation, Arbitration and Justice Naheed Ghauri

    5. Sharia Councils and Muslim Family Law: Analysing the Parity Governance Model, the Sharia Inquiry and the Role of the State/ Law Relations Samia Bano.



    Samia Bano is Reader in Law, School of Law, SOAS, University of London, UK.