The Law Society is not going to withdraw its practice note on what it takes to be the correct interpretation of “Sharia succession rules.” The Lawyers’ Secular Society has a response.
The LSS had written a detailed open letter to the Law Society on 24 April 2014 with very specific questions (here). Two weeks later, on 8 May 2014, the Law Society eventually responded to that letter (here) but it failed to answer almost all of the LSS’s questions, with no explanation for this refusal.
The LSS also took part in a large public protest outside the Law Society’s offices in Chancery Lane, London on 28 April 2014, alongside human rights campaigners and women’s rights campaigners, but this appears to have had no effect on the Law Society. (You can listen to LSS Secretary Charlie Klendjian’s speech here and you can read it here.)
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has now intervened in the debate and told the Law Society it must not “undermine” British legal principles with its guidance.
Commenting, LSS Secretary Charlie Klendjian said:
“Naturally we are very disappointed – and actually shocked – at the Law Society’s decision to keep its disturbing sharia practice note despite huge public criticism.
“It is not the Law Society’s business to offer guidance on Islamic theology, even if there is “demand” for it, because this gives sharia law the respectability and credibility of a legal discipline within our jurisdiction. And it is not the business of any organisation which claims, as the Law Society does, to have a “strong record” on equalities, and which says it aims “to help the profession to promote equalities, inclusion and diversity”, to give guidance to its members which explicitly discriminates against women, non-Muslims, “illegitimate children” and adopted children. The reality is that sharia law is anything but equality, inclusion and diversity.”
Well it is diversity. It’s diverse from things like equality and inclusion.