Baroness Cox: Sharia courts undermine British law

Created on: 16th September 2012

Sharia law is undermining the “concept of judicial equality” at the expense of the vulnerable, a prominent peer has warned.

Baroness Cox says Britain no longer operates “under a single legal code” and that Sharia is “effectively a parallel quasi-legal system operating within some Muslim communities”.

The warning comes after an undercover investigation revealed that two imams were prepared to marry a twelve-year-old to grown men “under the aegis of Sharia law”.

Lady Cox, in an article for the Daily Mail, cautions: “No society can function effectively with a parallel quasi-legal system, with some people having, in practice, drastically diminished legal rights because of their religion and their gender.”

She adds: “In so many ways, Sharia law treats women as second-class citizens, whether it be in inheritance rights or divorce.

“According to Sharia law, for instance, a woman’s word counts for only half the value of that of a man.”

The independent peer is behind a parliamentary Bill, which will have its second reading next month, seeking to tackle the problem of Sharia courts in England and Wales.

The 1996 Arbitration Act means that the rulings of religious arbitration tribunals can be enforced in commercial and civil cases.

But there are concerns about Sharia law being illegitimately used for a wider remit.

Lady Cox says that her bill “would cover all arbitration tribunals and mediated settlements, and any pseudo-courts, regardless of religion.

“It would make it a criminal offence for any individual or group to pose as a proper legal court, with the full sanction of prison sentences for those who contravene this law.

“The Bill would also make it easier to challenge in a civil court any settlement made in a Sharia court based on gender discrimination.”

Posted by Amanda Hopkins

Extract from

Your Comments

posted by Bob on 17-09-12

Sharia was introduced into the UK in 1982. Islam is not only a violent religion - there's no Jewish or Christian suicide bombers, even though Jews and Christians face oppression and persecution in the world. With underage brides permissible under (full) Sharia law, it's also, in the eyes of many in the West seen as a paedophile religion.

posted by Frank on 17-09-12

The problem here is that the Government is too weak in tackling this false religion. It is unacceptable that we should allow Islam a foothold in our society, to both practice their so called faith and meter out their justice system. (which in many cases especially concerning women-it is very unjust) The foundation of their faith is built on fear.

posted by Farhana Uddin on 21-09-12

I think its time to get rid of Sharia law from our country. Im a muslim, born and brought up in UK and i feel asahmed to be associated to a religion which condones peadaphelia. I am also a mother to a young girl and cannot think think how any adult could sit back while a 12 year old child is married off to a grown man and think it acceptable.

posted by Gabrile Anton on 02-02-13

Since the originally signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 this wonderful country 'Great Britain' has come through and up-held it's self, through two world wars, and many domestic wars, internationally and globally.. Now, it's been subject to ransom in the form of religious nuts, who proclaim to be law abiding citizens, living amongst equals..NOT SO! These religious Islamic maniacs have almost destroyed, (if not already destroyed) what was once a great and strong British Empire - which Sir Winston Churchill once said: "There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England". They inhabit most of the English territory and dictate their own violent laws upon English streets, hurting the core of what English culture was once ....they do not care who they walk over, destroy, and neither do they give: just take! They cause riots and hatred protests, and hold secret meetings to plan and engage violence! I see, what was rolling hills in the country side, beautiful land marks in the city, music from a far; wonderful parks - where you could take a walk and feed the birds, take a stroll and buy a news paper and maybe a bottle of milk... Instead your banned now from walking - hand-in-hand (lovely) in a majority of streets in Outer London; where you see radically 'Islamic signs' in yellow. What was legally your own country (still is).. is now being taken over by violent religious nuts, trying to berate, dictate the english way of life!! Even who you are as a person, your beliefs, your sexual agenda have been striped; and the ironic thing is...the government allow this to happen.. a government supposed to serve and protect the country, by using the 'Bill of Laws', with which it wrote and legislated. ..umm because they don't want to upset our foreign neighbor's!! They are even trying to subject our family values into chaos by dictating their radical sharia laws, which condemn women and children to violence, treating them as if there were a piece of meat.. or a 'dog' that is told too walk behind you! Eventually the story line will be a mixture from two films "Escape from New york" remember 1981 with Kirk Russell and Donald Pleasence in this case "Escape from England", and "The Book of Eli" with Denzel Washington..We will try and escape this violent Islamic religion and save the Christian Bible! LETS GET THIS COUNTRY BACK TO WHAT IT WAS A TRADITIONAL FAMILY ORIENTATED CRISTIAN COUNTRY

You can add your comment here