Women's Groups Slam 'Discriminatory' UK Advice Endorsing Sharia Wills

Women's Groups Slam 'Discriminatory' UK Advice Endorsing Sharia Wills

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women’s rights activists have accused the professional body representing lawyers in England and Wales of endorsing discrimination against women by refusing to withdraw its guidance on sharia wills.

The Law Society issued its guidance on ensuring that wills drawn up for Muslims comply with sharia in March, drawing criticism in the local press that it was effectively enshrining Islamic law in the British legal system for the first time.

In an open letter published on Thursday campaigners said the guidance, “a source of immense concern,” encourages legal services “to accommodate highly gender discriminatory religious laws that are being increasingly defined by religious fundamentalists in our society”.

The guidance informs lawyers that in general, under sharia, male heirs inherit twice the amount a female heir will receive and that illegitimate children are not heirs.

Read more at Reuters


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