Douglas et al. on the Relationship between Religious and Civil Law Regarding Marriage

Gillian Douglas (Cardiff Law School), Norman Doe (Cardiff Law School), Sophie Gilliat-Ray (Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion), Russell Sandberg (Cardiff Law School), and Asma Kahn (former research associate at Cardiff University) have posted Social Cohesion and Civil Law: Marriage, Divorce and Religious Courts. The abstract follows.—YAH

This is the report of the project, ‘Social Cohesion and Civil Law: Marriage, Divorce and Religious Courts’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which explored how religious law functions alongside civil law in the area of marriage and divorce. It examines the workings of three religious courts in detail: a Jewish Beth Din; a matrimonial tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church; and a Muslim “Shariah Council”. It finds that these tribunals provide an important service for their users in enabling them to remarry within their faith, which serves both to enable them to remain within their faith community and to regularize their position with the religious authorities. None of the tribunals sought greater autonomy and all recognized the supremacy of state law.

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