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In The Press

Sharia law review recommends civil marriage alongside religious ceremony (LexisNexis) (13 March 2018)

Date: 13/03/2018
Duncan Lewis, InThePress Solicitors, Sharia law review recommends civil marriage alongside religious ceremony (LexisNexis)

In light of an independent review into sharia law when applied in England and Wales, published by the Home Office, LexisNexis details the recommendation that has been made to make it compulsory for civil ceremonies to take place alongside the religious ceremony to ensure Muslim women are protected by UK law. The review was launched by Prime Minister Teresa May in 2016, the Home Secretary at the time, which found that many Muslim communities rely on sharia councils to settle marriage disputes, leaving Muslim women with no rights at the breakdown of their marriage. The report recommends legislative changes, a push to raise awareness of the issue and the introduction of a regulatory body to provide a code of practice for all UK based sharia councils. Aina Khan OBE, the head of the Islamic Family Law department at Duncan Lewis, leads the campaign “Register our Marriage” which asks that the Marriage Act 1949 be amended to make it so that all religious marriages must be held alongside a civil ceremony. She points out that: “by linking Islamic marriage to civil marriage – as happens in all Muslim countries – Muslim women are given the full protection of civil family law.”

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