1. Bernard Bumner says

    Their little practice note is a dangerous mockery of the law…

    Except that it isn’t. It is entirely compatible with the law (that is the point). These protests should be directed towards the government to change the law, not to the Law Society who are merely offering guidance to their members who were already drawing up sharia compliant wills before this guidance was made available.

  2. says

    Yes it is. It is incompatible with secular law. “Sharia-compliant” is not legal terminology, it’s religious or theological terminology. As Maajid Nawaz has pointed out, along with others, there are competing versions of sharia, and it’s obviously not the Law Society’s place to pick one.

  3. Bernard Bumner says

    English law is not secular. England is not cobstitutiobally secular. Anyway, English law permits discriminatory wills.

    I agree that Sharia is a particularly nasty system and should have no place in society, but the compatibility of English law with religious tribunals which sanction all sorts of discrimination is unfortunately well-established.

  4. says

    Also – English law permits discriminatory wills, yes – it’s testamentary freedom. But that doesn’t mean lawyers have to or should help clients make them more discriminatory. It’s not up to a lawyer to say, “Oh I see your nephew is in for a few thousand – so you no longer mind that he’s a faggot?”

  5. Bernard Bumner says

    It’s de facto secular, but it’s still secular.

    Which Sir James Munby had to tell us all last year, and therefore remains somewhat unconvincing; he also said that there was no bright dividing line – still true whilst we don’t have a formal secular constitution, and gravely at risk whilst we have dangerous debates on whether the UK is a Christian country. We can trust the judges, yes. At the moment.

    The courts operate justice in a secular manner, but religious privilege still exists in English law – the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, being one of the most egregious recent examples.

    But that doesn’t mean lawyers have to or should help clients make them more discriminatory.

    a) I agree.
    b) They were already (legally) doing so.

    …testamentary freedom…

    Which has been eroded by various acts of parliament over the last century, and should probably be further limited (at least to the same point as in Scotland).

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