Papers presented at the panel "The spatial ramifications of religion: new and traditional legal challenges " held at the Annual Conference 2022 of EuARe (European Academy of Religion), which took place in Bologna from 20th to 23rd June 2022 and was organised by FSCIRE.
Contributi di Alessandro Negri
SOMMARIO: 1. Multicultural societies and conflicts of loyalty: cultural crimes - 2. The Italian reaction to cultural crimes - 3. The case of kirpan: the recent judgment of the Court of Cassation - 4. A questionable decision: the fundamental role of pluralism in Western societies - 5. Conclusions: the centrality of human dignity.
ABSTRACT: Pluralist societies pose new challenges to legal systems, having to find trade-offs between accommodating the necessities of minorities and security concerns. Religions often impose prescriptive rules on the behaviour of their believers, leading to moral internal conflicts when these lead to break State laws. In Italy, this subject was already discussed between legal scholars, before it received large public attention in 2017, where a judgement of the Cassation Court has upheld the conviction of a Sikh indian for withholding a kirpan, a ritual dagger central to his faith. This work provides an overview of the debate raised by the ruling, with particular emphasis on the challenges in devising policies that address security concerns without sacrificing religious freedom and pluralism. The Italian answer to cultural crimes will be analysed in depth, given the distinctive element of positive laicità in 1948 Constitution that characterizes its context. In the conclusion, a possible solution focused on human dignity is suggested.
SOMMARIO: 1. Le Sharia court: origini, attività e scopi - 2. Alcuni dati statistici - 3. Un’ulteriore evoluzione: l’Arbitration Act e il Muslim Arbitration Tribunal - 4. Il discorso dell’arcivescovo di Canterbury e reazioni - 5. Il Private Members’ Bill della baronessa Cox - 6. La risposta dell’Islamic Sharia Council - 7. Un dibattito ancora in corso: Friend or Foe?
Sharia Courts. History and evolution of Muslim courts in the United Kingdom
ABSTRACT: In the last thirty years the United Kingdom has experienced the formation and surge of so-called Sharia courts or councils, unrecognised Muslim tribunals with purpose of settling disputes using Islamic religious law. Their stated objectives include providing advice and assistance in the operation of Muslim family life, establishing a bench of scholars to operate as a council, making decisions on matters of Muslim family law, and promoting an enlightened practice of the Muslim faith by Muslims living in the UK.
This paper analyses the origins, evolution and functioning of these councils, with emphasis on the lively public debate initiated in 2008 following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks and followed with the bill proposed by Baroness Cox. An overview of the relations between Sharia councils and the State is presented, while providing insight on future scenarios.