A Geo-Legal Approach to the English Sharia Courts

Cases and Conflicts


A Geo-Legal Approach to the English Sharia Courts: Cases and Conflicts adopts a new methodological perspective that combines Comparative Law with Geopolitics to understand the phenomenon of the English ‘sharia courts’. This term is used as a geopolitical representation of specific Islamic ADR institutions. The geo-legal analysis illustrates the competition of the legal systems involved and brings you in the middle of the related conflict, where (official and unofficial) legal rules are used by various actors to defend their ideas of Law and implement their strategies. Accordingly, the geo-legal operational analysis helps assess the possible changes occurring in the relationship between the legal systems and their substratum of values.

Funding for the research associated with this book was provided by the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” – Dept. of Political Science and by the Italian Ministry of University and Research through the National Project (PRIN 2017 n. 20174EH2MR) on “International Migrations, State, Sovereignty, Human Rights: open legal issues” directed by Prof. Angela Di Stasi and Prof. Ida Caracciolo.

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Anna Marotta, double Ph.D. (2017), University ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’, University Paris 8, is research fellow at the Vanvitelli University. She has authored publications on Islamic family law in England and Europe and has collaborated on the Italian translation of the book Géopolitique: Méthodes et Concepts (Barbara Loyer, Arman Colin, 2019).
List of Figures
List of Acronyms
Note on Transliteration
Note on Terminology

 1 All Eyes on Sharia
 2 Islamic Law in Western Countries
 3 Geopolitics of Islamic ADR in England
 4 Methodological Outline
 5 Book Structure

part 1: Islam as a new European Reality: From Sharia to Sharia Courts

1 Sharia and Western Tradition: A Challenge
 1 Understanding Sharia: Historical Reconstruction and Legal Theories in Comparison
 2 The Entry of Sharia in the European Landscape
 3 Sharia in a Representations’ Game
 4 The Application of Islamic Family Rules in Western Countries

2 English Law and Sharia Courts
 1 Characteristics and Evolution of Muslims in Britain
 2 ADR between the Islamic Model and the English Law System
 3 Question of Terms: ‘Sharia Courts’ as a Paradigm of a Conflict of Jurisdiction
 4 Different Structures for Sharia Courts
 5 Face to Face with Sharia Courts: Investigating the Plurality
 6 In & Out of Sharia Courts
 7 The UK Board of Sharia Councils

part 2: From Judicial Interactions to the Explosion of Geopolitical Antagonisms

3 Interactions between Islamic Justice and English Courts
 1 Islamic Inheritance Issues and the Role of The Islamic Sharia Council
 2 Family Rules between English Law Courts and Sharia Courts: The Uddin Case
 3 Property and Commerce between Islamic Fora and English Civil Courts

4 Sharia Courts and the Geo-Legal Conflict
 1 In Favour, against, in the Middle: Which Actors?
 2 An Archbishop’s Speech: 7 February 2008
 3 Baroness Caroline Cox’s Battle: From Criticism of Sharia to the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill
 4 Panorama Programme: ‘Secrets of Britain’s Sharia Councils’
 5 Counter-Extremism Strategy: A Proposal for a Review of Sharia Councils
 6 Sharia Courts between Opposition and Strategy
 7 Double Inquiry into Sharia Courts
 8 Sharia After the Home Office Inquiry: European Institutions Are Talking

What Will the ‘New’ Sharia Look Like in England? Some Concluding Remarks

Appendix 1: Actors
 1 The Supporters
 2 The Opponents
 3 Academics in the Middle

Appendix 2: Author’s Interviews
Glossary of Arab Terms
Academic libraries, research institutions, scholars and (undergraduate, post-graduate and research) students in the following subject areas: law; law and: religion, anthropology, sociology; geopolitics; Islamic studies.
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