Secular lawyers threaten action over Law Society Sharia wills guide

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  • There is nothing lawyers can now do, 'it is written' and no mortal can turn back God's will, or the Law Society's for that matter....unless we can get the guy who led the revolt vs legal aid......maybe he can help with this one?

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  • Why doesn't the Lawyers' Secular Society keep its neb out of other peoples' business? If people want to have a Shariah-compliant will that's their business; English law merely facilitates giving effect to the wishes of the testator, and does not, as the LSS appears to do, get into the business of making value judgements about the prudence or fairness of the testator's wishes (unless dependents are involved etc). Klendjian frets about the Law Society's guidance creating a novel interpretation of English law whereby a devout Muslim is presumed to have written a Shariah-compliant will, which is patent nonsense as risks go. The biggest concern here is that oxygen is being given to the LSS to make alarmist, far-fetched and absurd claims and giving space to militant anti-theists to impose their fretful interpretation of life on the rest of the populace. I have zero interest in making a Shariah-compliant will and wouldn't fancy being on the receiving end of one, but it's no different to English law allowing a man to given his entire assets to his son to the exclusion of his daughters and vice versa……at least under Shariah I'd be guaranteed something now that I come to think of it!

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  • Pray, where are we all on Inheritance (Family Provision) Legislation, to say nothing of the doctrine of undue influence?
    Equality under the law is a paramount requirement. Also, in promulgating such guidance, the Law Society is in danger of tacitly approving of discriminatory practices.
    Must be the first time anyone could possibly welcome intervention by secularists!

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  • For supposed lawyers who support the primary of English law, this Lawyers’ Secular Society has demonstrated a surprising inability to read the guidelines (written in English) or to understand the concept of "freedom of disposition provided by English law". It's just another example of unmasked hatred of Muslims and the #creepingshariah bandwagon. Move on chaps.

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  • @Lawrence, you just watch how quickly this "guidance" is revoked.

    You see the reports appearing already about lawyers taking legal action, petitions are starting, and MP's are being inundated with constituents who are VERY angry that discrimination could be tolerated.

    And UKIP are all out having a party, because it looks like they might just win the next election - things like this have a strange way of destroying a government - even though it should be fair to say it was not the government who actually did this, but voters across the country will group also and find a government who will not allow this - hence UKIP will probably be having a major party.

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  • I don't think (please correct me if I’m wrong) that the LSS have denied the existence of freedom of disposition under English law. That is not the issue here. The issue is whether it is appropriate for a regulatory body in a supposedly secular society that respects diversity to issue guidance on how to comply with a body of rules/beliefs which many argue, and which at least objectively appear to be, fundamentally discriminatory.

    No one would argue that if a Muslim instructed his solicitor to draft a sharia compatible will that the solicitor shouldn't do so, of course he should. Equally, if a racist EDL member wanted a will under which any grandchildren who weren't white, or a homophobic client (who belonged to an anti-gay group of some kind) a will under which any grandchildren who grew up to be homosexual, received no inheritance, then of course the solicitor should again draft the will in accordance with the client’s wishes. However, it would be entirely inappropriate for the Law Society to issue guidance on how to draft wills so as to be acceptable to a racist or homophobic group. As such is it appropriate for it to issue guidance on drafting wills in compliance with another set of (arguably discriminatory) beliefs simply because the beliefs stem from a religion? The LSS suggest not and I would suggest that’s not an unreasonable stance to take.

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  • As a confirmed secularist, I cannot see what the fuss is about.
    The Law Society has issued no more than it claims to be: guidance. It is not an attempt to 'enshrine' Sharia in English law. It's just advice so that solicitors can provide a service to (Sunni) muslim clients who want a will that fits with their beliefs. It does not claim to do any more than that.
    How is this different to advice to anyone who walks in off the street and asks for a will that will deliver what they want?
    Er, not at all.
    Pity that The Lawyer felt it had to jump on the hysteria bandwagon.

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  • Rob - comparing Muslims to EDL members is quite something.

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  • To Anonymous 25-Mar-2014 4:36 pm: your comment to Rob that "comparing Muslims to EDL members is quite something" doesn't really address the issue. His point is that the Sharia rules are discriminatory, which the Law Soc should not support. Are these rules discriminatory or not? That's a complicated issue, which your comment ignores... over to you.

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  • I wasn't attempting to address the issue. I was just struck by Rob's chutzpah.

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