Nov 24 2014
Law Society apologizes over advice to solicitors on how to draw up Sharia-style wills penalizing Muslim widows and non-believers.
(Now, how about getting rid of the 85 sharia courts already in operation throughout Britain?)
UK Telegraph (h/t Marthas) The Law Society has withdrawn controversial guidelines for solicitors on how to compile “Sharia compliant” wills amid complaints that they encouraged discrimination against women and non-Muslims. Andrew Caplen, president of the society, apologized and said the criticism had been taken on board.
It follows a storm of protest after The Telegraph disclosed in March that the society had issued a practice note to solicitors effectively enshrining aspects of Islamic law in the British legal system. Muslim lawyers had congratulated the Law Society for having issued it, the way they saw it was that the Law Society had come on board with sharia law.”
The guidelines advised High Street solicitors on how to write Islamic wills in a way that would be recognised by courts in England and Wales. They set out principles which meant that women could be denied an equal share of inheritances while unbelievers could be excluded altogether. The document also detailed how children born out of wedlock might not be counted as legitimate heirs.
Mr Caplen’s predecessor as president, Nicholas Fluck, strongly resisted criticism of the guidelines when details were published in March. But in a short statement the society said it now had decided to withdraw them in light of “feedback” from the public and lawyers themselves.
“Our practice note was intended to support members to better serve their clients as far as is allowed by the law of England and Wales,” said Mr Caplen. “We reviewed the note in the light of criticism. “We have withdrawn the note and we are sorry.”
Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, who campaigned for the guidelines to be withdrawn, said: “This is an important reverse for what had seemed to be the relentless march of sharia to becoming de facto British law.
“Until now, politicians and the legal establishment either encouraged this process or spinelessly recoiled from acknowledging what was happening. “I congratulate the Law Society for heeding the objections we and others made. “This is particularly good news for women who fare so badly under sharia law, which is non-democratically determined, non-human rights compliant and discriminatory code.”