UK: Law Society risks ‘undermining’ rule of law by promoting sharia, Justice Secretary warns

Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has warned the Law Society that it must not “undermine” British legal principles with its new guidance and training for lawyers in Sharia law.

The Law Society, the professional body which represents solicitors, has faced criticism for running training courses in Sharia and for publishing guidance to help lawyers draw up “Sharia compliant” wills.

The controversial new initiatives resulted in lawyers and anti-Sharia law campaigners protesting outside the Law Society’s head office in central London last week. Critics have accused the Law Society of creating the “perception” that Sharia is now “a legal discipline”.
Next month, the Law Society is running a training course described as an “introduction to Islamic Sharia law for small firms”. The course offers training in Sharia law covering wills and inheritance, family and children and corporate and commercial law.
Mr Grayling’s intervention was supported by Conservative MP Robert Buckland, a member of the Commons’ Justice committee and a part-time judge.
Mr Buckland questioned why the Law Society was giving such weight to Sharia law given it was essentially faith teaching, like the Christian Bible, asking “Why is the Law Society not teaching the Old Testament or the New Testament?”