Bridget Prentice, a justice minister in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government, told Parliament that family courts in England and Wales could “rubber stamp” sharia decisions if they decide the Islamic rulings are fair.
Sharia is a set of principles governing the lives of Muslims, 1.6 million of whom live in Britain, and has occasionally come into conflict with traditional British law.
But Prentice said a sharia decision dealing with money or children could be submitted in the form of a consent order that a formal court could consider.
“This,” she said, “allows English judges to scrutinize it to ensure that it complies with English legal tenets,” and likewise in Wales, and that if they rule it is fair, it would constitute a legal contract.
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