Gary Rycroft column

Gary Rycroft.
Gary Rycroft.

There have been some scare stories doing the rounds in certain parts of the press about Sharia Law being “enshrined in English Law for the first time”.

This arose after The Law Society published guidance for solicitors about how to draw up Sharia compliant wills.

Sharia is a code of law derived from the Quran and the teachings of Mohammed, so any suggestion that it is being integrated into the English legal system is bound to wind up anyone already concerned about the integrity of our sovereign state.

Given also Sharia succession rules favour men over women, feminists are also going to be outraged by such a move, never mind the secular minded who believe (pun intended) any kind of religious value system should not be a basis for legal rules.

So it would seem The Law Society have published guidance which is potentially deeply divisive.

Except the stories in the press are all froth with no substance because the notion that The Law Society can change the Law is nonsense. The Law Society is the representative body for solicitors. Rather like a trades union.

It can no more make new laws than the NUT can write the National Curriculum for schools.

All The Law Society has done is issue some guidance to its members about what to do if a client walks in off the street and asks for a sharia compliant will. Which is handy for people like me because sharia law is very complex.

In fact it’s so complex medieval Arabic scholars developed what we now call algebra to deal with working out who was entitled to what under the elaborate rules of sharia succession.

So thank you to The Law Society for helping me do my job and shame on certain parts of the press for stirring up agitation and conveniently forgetting that under our English legal system it is Parliament which makes new law.

And for those outraged by certain aspects if Sharia Law it’s worth noting with regret that certain male Parliamentarians are still there by accident of birth and there are also far more men than women sitting on the green and red benches making the laws of our land.