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Britain's religious tribunals: 'joint governance' in practice

Sandberg, Russell ORCID:, Douglas, Gillian, Doe, Christopher Norman ORCID:, Gilliat-Ray, Sophie ORCID: and Khan, Asma 2012. Britain's religious tribunals: 'joint governance' in practice. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 33 (2) , pp. 263-291. 10.1093/ojls/gqs031

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In recent years, there have been a number of moral panics in Western societies about the existence of religious courts and tribunals in general and Shariah law in particular. In England and Wales, these concerns came to the fore following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2008 lecture on ‘Civil Law and Religious Law in England’. In that lecture, the Archbishop drew upon the work of the Canadian scholar Ayelet Shachar endorsing her concept of ‘transformative accommodation’. In this article, we return to the work of Shachar in the light of our recent empirical study which examined the divorce jurisdiction of three religious tribunals in detail: a Jewish Beth Din; a matrimonial tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church; and a Muslim Shariah Council. We suggest that the focus upon Shachar’s concept of ‘transformative accommodation’ by the Archbishop and subsequent commentators is unfortunate given that Shachar actually proposes ‘transformative accommodation’ as just one variant of what she refers to as ‘joint governance’ (albeit her preferred variant). We propose that the concept of ‘joint governance’ and the other variants can be developed in a way that could prove to be more useful than ‘transformative accommodation’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
K Law > KD England and Wales
Uncontrolled Keywords: authority; constitutional theory; courts; multiculturalism
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0143-6503
Funders: AHRC, ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 April 2017
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 05:58

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