On the writing of Sharia compliant wills

Oh, there’s going to be fury about this:

Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.

And that fury will be wildly misplaced. For we are not like the Frogs and others who insist that the State should detail how your very own property is disposed of. We actually have a free and liberal system, which says that you can do what the hell you like with your cash. Leave it all to the cats home, hell leave it to the cat if you wish. So a will that disposes of property on the grounds of religious faith, gender, legitimacy, style of marriage or anything else your religious beliefs might require is already entirely legal under English law.

All this is is a set of guidance notes to make sure that the usual Islamic religious desires are incorporated into wills in a manner that is indeed consistent with English law.

It is not, at all, a change in that underlying law itself. It’s “if this is what you want to do then here’s how you go about doing that”.

Sure, we can all have lovely arguments about whether such a will is being misogynist and all the rest (but then so is primogeniture) but it’s sod all to do with bringing Sharia into English law.

32 comments on “On the writing of Sharia compliant wills

  1. And it’s the same with Jewish law, but MSM will emphasise the Islamic aspect as that will get the readers wound up.

  2. There is a facility for dependants to get provision if the will does not provide for them, but it will be the same for muslims (and their illegimate offspring, male or female) as for everyone else

  3. DocBud, that’s dependants. Adult, able bodied – generally tough luck if it goes to the cat’s home, or no 1 son.

  4. My point, Luke, was that if some misogynistic muzzie wants to cut his mrs totally out of his will, under UK law, quite correctly, he can’t.

  5. Isn’t the point rather that if you believe in Fairy in the Sky A you can’t do this, whereas if you believe in Fairy in the Sky B then you can?

    Anyroadup, the first test case will be interesting, assuming the plaintiff lives long enough to file the complaint.

  6. AIUI you can already, under English law, cut who you like out of your will – it’s called the freedom of testamentary disposition – subject to a potential claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which this *guidance* does not affect. So Tim’s OP is spot on.

  7. I think you are wrong, Tim. In England and Wales adequate provision needs to be made for dependants (even unbelieving ones).

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/63

    That does not say the person who made the will must leave anything to their spouse. It says the spouse can try to persuade a court they haven’t been left with reasonable financial provision.

  8. From the Law Society advice, simply looks like the shrinking dhimmi end of the lawyerly profession’s trying to encroach on the Religion of Peace end And the very best of luck to them. The likelihood of an RoP’er,so up 4ll4’s butt end,.a sharia compliant will’s required, makes the chance of him going to one not of the ummah to prepare it slightly less than zero..

  9. UKLiberty,

    The point is whether or not you can effectively write a will denying your dependants adequate provision. You can write what the hell you like in a will, but UK law will, quite rightly, overrule you if you are being a misogynistic ignorant, medieval twat.

  10. “My point, Luke, was that if some misogynistic muzzie wants to cut his mrs totally out of his will, under UK law, quite correctly, he can’t.”

    I think you missed his point. He is saying that the dependent provision law applies to minor children, not “the mrs” who is presumably adult and able bodied. In most cases, anyway.

  11. This adds nothing new legally; you can leave your property to whoever you like, subject to a right for certain classes of people to bring a claim for reasonable provision. The bigger issue, which indirectly promotes Sharia as more mainstream, is why the Law Society, out of all the things they could focus on, decide to come up with promoting some aspect of Sharia law. They are an absolute shower who abuse their roles to promote things which are beyond their remit – witness the fact that all solicitors now have to “respect diversity”.

    I am a practising solicitor, by the way.

  12. DocBud,

    The point is whether or not you can effectively write a will denying your dependants adequate provision. You can write what the hell you like in a will, but UK law will, quite rightly, overrule you if you are being a misogynistic ignorant, medieval twat.

    You can be as discriminatory as you like. A spouse, former spouse, child, child of the family or dependant can attempt to persuade a court that you didn’t have testamentary capacity or that the disposition of the estate has not left them with a reasonable financial provision. But subject to that potential outcome you are free to dispose of the state how you want.

  13. Terry, yes, that’s the more interesting and nuanced story: whether the Law Society should facilitate/publish that kind of thing. But, I suggest, less clickbait than what the Telegraph (and later the Independent) ran with.

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  15. Odd. In the USA, we have the “Right of Dower,” which I assumed we got from English Common Law. It is good. Dumping it is insane.

    “The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock . . . from being counted as legitimate heirs.”

    Seems like an upgrade; I thought they and their mother would be beheaded.

  16. “The bigger issue, which indirectly promotes Sharia as more mainstream, is why the Law Society, out of all the things they could focus on, decide to come up with promoting some aspect of Sharia law.”

    First things first, most folks haven’t a clue as to what “Sharia Law” actually is, much less how it works. Good to see our British cousins are as ignorant on the subject as your average Yank.

    Beyond that, this may come as a shock, but the Law Society probably addressed it because it was asked to by a number of its members. Remember that economic concept called “demand”? Judging from my last trip to London, England has a fair whack of Muslims running around it, and I’m willing to bet a fair whack of the fair whack want to have a lawyer produce a will for them.

    If strikes any of you Brits as being somewhat sinister, congratulations, you’ve just graduated from the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck School of Uninformed Paranoia and are well on your way to becoming a Yank.

  17. Bloke in Central Illinois,

    If you follow my posted links you will see that in England, Wales and Scotland the mrs is quite clearly covered by the provisions.

  18. In due course sharia law will displace the old law.. I expect you will rationalise this as well.

  19. ukliberty – “That does not say the person who made the will must leave anything to their spouse. It says the spouse can try to persuade a court they haven’t been left with reasonable financial provision.”

    And there is the problem with modern British law in a nut shell. We could have a system that allowed you to do what you liked. We could have a system that gave clear rules about what you were allowed to do – as part of the UK does I believe. If Arnald pops his clogs, I think the Channel Islands have strict French-style division rules.

    But no, we have to have a rule that exists merely to generate vast amounts of work for lawyers. Each and every case is literally decided on a case-by-case basis. Requiring massive contributions to a whole host of legal parasites’ retirement funds. Great.

    DocBud – “The point is whether or not you can effectively write a will denying your dependants adequate provision. You can write what the hell you like in a will, but UK law will, quite rightly, overrule you if you are being a misogynistic ignorant, medieval twat.”

    UK law will override you if your surviving relatives can come up with a sob story that the judge buys. I do not think this is a particularly good idea. Someone might have any number of good reasons for cutting someone else out of their will – and many of them will prefer not to have those reasons aired in court. But as the purpose of the British legal system is to support lawyers, we can’t have that.

    Which is just really a long way to come around to the point that actually what is all that bad about Sharia inheritance rules? They are not fair, I admit, but are they really such a crime calling out to Heaven? The interesting question will be whether Muslims will be allowed to call their custom Sharia, as they usually do in their own flea-bitten sh!tholes, which usually means girls get nothing, or will they be ever so gently encouraged/forced to adopt genuine Sharia rules.

  20. “First things first, most folks haven’t a clue as to what “Sharia Law” actually is, much less how it works.”

    Dennis, the Right of Dower is a good thing; getting rid of it would be a bad thing. “You don’t know what Sharia Law actually is” is a non sequitur.

  21. The key word, SMFS, is dependants, i.e. non-adult children and potentially the mrs. If Tone left all his ill-gotten gains to charity in an act of repentence for all his sins, Cherie could hardly claim to be a dependant, but Leo quite rightly could.

    A wife who stays at home to bring up children can claim to be a dependant, and, as a taxpayer, I’d rather her late husband’s estate kept her and the children in the style to which they have become accustomed rather than them being sent off to a taxpayer funded poor house.

    I fully agree with your point though that the law should be unambiguous about what constitutes reasonable provision for dependants so that any involvement of lawyers and solicitors can be kept to the bare minimum.

  22. Each and every case is literally decided on a case-by-case basis.

    That’s literally nonsense and incorrect to boot. The cases that are decided are the ones that go to trial – someone has to be unhappy then have a case a court will hear, to have the case decided.

  23. “’You don’t know what Sharia Law actually is’ is a non sequitur.

    Wrong. And thanks for proving my point.

    “Strange to see people here protesting against freedom of choice.”

    Hardly. Freedom of choice always offends when it goes beyond the bounds of what one considers to be the acceptable choices.

  24. Freedom of choice always offends when it goes beyond the bounds of what one considers to be the acceptable choices.

    But the rational point is that it isn’t whether it is offensive to somebody but whether or not it should be justiciable (assuming I’m using that word correctly.) You could find some person somewhere who is offended by almost any action or inaction. Hence, in the US, the formal concept of ‘standing’ and similar statutory and common law rules here.

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