Skip to content

Archive site notice

You are viewing an archived copy of Christian Concern's website. Some features are disabled and pages may not display properly.

To view our current site, please visit

Law Society promotes sharia law in new guidance for solicitors

Printer-friendly version

The Law Society has issued new advice for solicitors on how to draft “sharia compliant” wills which deny women an equal share of inheritance and exclude non-Muslims entirely.

The guidelines were quietly published for lawyers in England and Wales this month to “assist solicitors who have been instructed to prepare a valid will, which follows sharia succession rules”.


They explain how sharia principles mean that divorced spouses and children who are born out of wedlock or adopted could be refused an inheritance, and suggest that principles of sharia could override British law in some areas of dispute.

“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class and only Muslim marriages are recognised,” the guidance says.

“No distinction is made between children of different marriages, but illegitimate and adopted children are not sharia heirs.

“Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death.”

The Law Society claims that the guidelines will promote “good practice” and “support members so they can help clients from all backgrounds.”


But Baroness Cox, who was backed by Christian Concern in her “Equal and Free” campaign to outlaw the use of sharia law in the UK, said the move was “deeply disturbing” and “violates everything that we stand for.”

Baroness Cox, who continues to campaign for the protection of women against religious discrimination, said: “It would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.”

“Quasi-legal system”

She has previously said,

"No longer do we have a single legal code in our society. Instead, alongside our own law, there is now effectively a parallel quasi-legal system operating within some Muslim communities.

“Sharia law, imported from theocracies like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, first began to be used here in a strictly limited form, dealing mainly with narrow issues like Islamic financial contracts.

“But as the Muslim population has grown and the pervasive creed of multiculturalism has become ever more powerful, so sharia law has rapidly grown in influence within some communities.

“There are now estimated to be no fewer than 85 sharia courts across the country — from London and Manchester to Bradford and Nuneaton. They operate mainly from mosques, settling financial and family disputes according to religious principles.”


Commenting on the guidance, Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said: “It’s absolutely extraordinary that the regulatory body for lawyers in Britain should approve and facilitate the use of sharia principles that actively discriminate against vulnerable women and children, and which conflict with the principles of freedom and fairness found under English law.

“For many years, sharia courts have been operating freely in towns and cities across UK, with the result that many Muslim women living in Britain are unable to get proper access to justice.  This is why we must continue to advocate for one law for all, to ensure that the law of our land applies freely and equally to all citizens.”



Daily Mail


Related stories:

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali warns against plans for Islamic bonds in Britain

Britain set to become first non-Muslim country to issue Islamic bond

Effects of Sharia on women debated in House of Lords

New Bill to stop sharia law operating in the UK

Andrea discussed the guidance in an interview with Moody Radio, which you can listen to here >