Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Canada: ... gets Sharia

I'm so late on this story ... I guess it happened on the wrong side of the ocean ;)

In a suburb of Toronto, a community group is setting up an arbitration board which will base its decisions on Sharia law. It will be called the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice (Canada). According to the Law Times article, the Arbitration Act was changed recently to make an arbitrator's decision final and enforceable by the courts (I'm not a lawyer ... don't know if this is true/accurate).

Now here is the detail that caught my attention ...
The committee [setting up the new institute] is hopeful that the system will be accepted by the Muslim community at large, and in particular, Muslim women. There was only one woman present at the convention. Bibi Zainob Baksh attended in her capacity as president of the Ladies' Muslim Organization. She pointed out that there has been a mediation service in the past but it folded when it failed to attract Muslim women. She is of the opinion that if the present initiative comes to fruition, women will participate "later" in the process.
The article was published in Law Tims Online on Nov 25 ... but it's no longer on the site. But don't despair ... the good folks at Vancouver Indymedia posted the entire article here and Damian, a Canadian blogger, posted most of the article here.

I am disappointed by the paucity of the coverage available on-line ...

Came across this rather snippy editorial from the Montreal Gazette saying there should be "one law for all" ... but don't we have two types of law in Canada ... Quebec law is based on the Napoleonic Code, with the rest of Canada using common law.