Sharia Courts Criticised by Civitas

The Times reports on a recently published Civitas report which is critical of Sharia Courts and in particular the tensions between Sharia and human rights and the law in this jurisdiction. Of particular note for family lawyers or those interested in it is of course the community pressure which can bear upon muslim women, and their relative powerlessness within the context of community justice fora like Sharia Courts, both in terms of divorce rights and in relation to the upbringing of children.

Scary Stuff – BNP White Paper on Family Law

No doubt the BNP are hoping to capitalise on the general disillusionment with mainstream political parties in order to gain seats in the forthcoming european elections and further down the line. (I have received a rather unpleasant leaflet through the door myself, plastered with respectable white people and unpleasant slogans.) For anyone contemplating casting a protest vote in the direction of the BNP READ THIS FIRST: the BNP White paper on Family Law (nice pun) is a little something I came across last week quite by chance. I read it through spluttering expletives and general disbelief at almost every paragraph – I will spare you a blow by blow commentary as it really does speak for itself.

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I don’t usually post on Politics on this blog but this document is a detailed set of proposals about family law, including that residence decisions where parents are divorcing should be automatically be granted to the parent who successfully petitions for divorce on the grounds of adultery, repeal of the Civil Partnerships Act and banning of same sex adoptions, to give just three examples, along with a number of quite serious misrepresentations of the current law and its effect. Given the subject matter of this blog how could I not comment?

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The BNP would have you believe they are so much more than a bunch of xenophobic crackpots – well, if this document is anything to go by they are much much more:  they are also mysoginist, homophobic, regressive and revolting. What they are profundly NOT is at all child-centred. I’m not quite sure what the status of this document is, but although I note it is the work of one former F4J activist (and as such may be borne in part out of the narrow perspective of personal experience) it nonetheless seems to be well on its way to being a fully ratified policy document, and the BNP appear to be quite happy for it to be freely available on the internet associated with the BNP logo. As such it represents a surprisingly candid snapshot of the types of people who are actively involved in the BNP and the views that they really hold when not polished and dressed up as respectable by their more PR savvy leaders. If their views on immigration were not enough to turn you off, their apparent views on family law ought to be ample reason for you to cast your vote elsewhere.