Monday, September 12, 2005

No Canadian Sharia, After All

It's funny how quickly things turn around. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that the Ontario government has ruled out Sharia-based family law courts for Muslims in Ontario. (Thanks, Jay)

The decision raises a 'fairness' issue, of course, and the McGuinty government's response is to do away with the family law courts for other religions as well. That change hasn't taken place yet, though it is expected to occur this fall.

No complaints here.

(See my post from Fridy)


Niraj said...

This is good news, but I would like to make one thing clear: many people assume that religion and democracy share the same plane, they do not. In secular societies, religion is secondary to democracy. This is how I interpret it.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous said...

The existing Jewish and Ismaili binding arbitration panels will lose their legal standing (the Catholic panels have always been private). The Ontario gvt will rewrite the existing law to prohibit religious groups from making use of the Ontario Arbitration Act.

Jewish groups are already protesting (their panels have been operating since 1991), and it is likely that Ontario will face a charter challenge. This is becase it appears that under the new rules, anyone could set up an binding arbitration panel based on secular rules (i.e based on foreign law, klingon law, elvish law, whatever ) but religious law will be explicitly prohibited. I'm not sure the government can explictly discriminate against religion in Canada -- the courts will decide.

(I also think McGuinty did the right thing, but my reasons are likely different from yours)


(Of curse, non-binding arbitration will continue as before)

2:36 PM  

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