Thursday, February 07, 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury believes in competing laws?

"An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger" he is reported to have said according to the BBC.

He is quoted as saying "the UK had to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system." So what? In fact a lot more than simply Muslims do not relate, there is a whole underclass of yobs and obnoxious oxygen thieves that don't relate.

However, why is that a reasons to surrender the British system?

"There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law"

PM Gordon Brown has rejected this, and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said "We cannot have a situation where there is one law for one person and different laws for another".

Unfortunately in New Zealand we do, and the leaders of neither major political party want to change that, whereas in the UK the leaders of both major parties and the major third party don't want it.


Eric Crampton said...

Suppose that two individuals have a contractual disagreement. As part of their contract, they agreed to seek binding arbitration using a designated arbitrator for any disagreements that might arise, and that their prior agreement states also that they both agree that the Courts ought weigh heavily any settlement proposed by the arbitrator should one party seek appeal. That's pretty standard now as a means of reducing litigation costs, no? Now, suppose that the two parties agree to seek arbitration by an arbitrator who applies principles of sharia in guiding his decisions. On first principles, I don't see any particular problem with that.

The tough case would of course be where a newly-married couple signed a pre-nup submitting to sharia arbitration in case of dispute, and the wife subsequently and truthfully alleges duress in the signing of the contract. Duress is an out in contract law as best I'm aware, and I'd expect that appeal to the government courts wouldn't discount such pleadings.

What's the argument against private use of sharia arbitration that doesn't also work against normal business arbitration practices?

Libertyscott said...

Agree, nothing wrong with that. It isn't removing one law for all though. The legal basis for contracts would still remain as is.