UK: Law Society Withdraws Sharia Succession Principles Practice Note

Law Society, Lawyers Secular Society

The press release shown below was issued today by the Law Society in the United Kingdom, announcing their withdrawal of a practice note issuing guidance for writing 'Sharia-compliant' wills.  

In a letter to the Lawyers' Secular Society, the Law Society stated:

“We have reviewed our practice note on Sharia succession principles foloowing [sic] your feedback, and that of our members and other stakeholders. Following this review, we have withdrawn the note and it will no longer be available through our website. We have no plans to amend or replace the note.”

“We are mindful of the criticism we received and we apologise.”

On the 28th March of this year, Women Living Under Muslim Laws issued a statement calling for the withdrawal of the Practice note, highlighting how it enshrined and promoted unequal gender relations and promoted a damaging idea of cultural relativism to the British legal practice. 

WLUML is pleased to receive this good news, and heralds it as a triumph for British women, especially Muslim women.

Law Society Press Release:Law Society withdraws Sharia succession principles practice note

The Law Society has withdrawn its practice note on Sharia succession principles following feedback, including from some members.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said:

'Our practice note was intended to support members to better serve their clients as far as is allowed by the law of England and Wales.

'We reviewed the note in the light of criticism. We have withdrawn the note and we are sorry.'


Notes to editors

The note was published on 13 March 2014 for solicitors instructed to prepare a valid will which follows Sharia succession rules. The note was removed from the Law Society website today (24 November 2014).