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When Religion Meets Family Law: A Comparison of Sharia Law in US and English Courts

Sarah Al-Jourani, Abbas Hadjian, Naveed Husain, Abed Awad, and Lawrence Richard Jones

This session considered differences in the jurisdictions of England, Wales, and the United States when dealing with Sharia matters in family proceedings. With 1.8 billion Muslims (July 28, 2023) across the world, and an increasingly relaxed approach by some communities towards divorce, family law cases are growing rapidly and therefore a discussion of the crossover of the two legal systems is more pertinent than ever.

Family Law experts shared and discussed a detailed analysis of Islamic marriage recognition, mahr payments, divorce recognition and child proceedings, and consider precedent cases and judgements with references to personal experiences of the court system when bringing these matters before the relevant judiciary. The variety of experts within the United States allowed a discussion of state differences in the approach of the courts to Sharia matters.

This is an International Family Law Committee presentation.