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Parallel legal systems

22 September 2011 The issue of parallel legal systems has garnered a great deal of public attention in recent times, partly as a result of the intense public response to the suggestion by Archbishop Rowan Williams that some religious communities could ‘share’ jurisdiction with state law in specific areas. It inevitably raises a wider set of distinct, yet connected issues ranging from state approaches toward non state legal norms to attitudes toward diversity, multiculturalism, and identity.

22 September 2011 

The issue of parallel legal systems has garnered a great deal of public attention in recent times, partly as a result of the intense public response to the suggestion by Archbishop Rowan Williams that some religious communities could ‘share’ jurisdiction with state law in specific areas. It inevitably raises a wider set of distinct, yet connected issues ranging from state approaches toward non state legal norms to attitudes toward diversity, multiculturalism, and identity.

The scope of the debate led the British Academy to set up a steering group in November 2010, in order to produce an overview of the research on parallel legal systems in the UK. The steering group is made up of Professor Sue Mendus FBA, Professor John Eekelaar FBA and Professor Hugh Williamson FBA.

The forum on 22 September was an opportunity for the overview's author, Professor Maleiha Malik, to consult opinion on a draft version of the overview. It was chaired by Professor Sue Mendus FBA.

List of participants

Ms. Farrah Ahmed, University of Oxford
Dr. Samia Bano, University of Reading
Dr. Peter Cumper, University of Leicester
Ms. Alice Donald, Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Mr. Steven Durno, Law Society
Professor John Eekelaar FBA, University of Oxford
Mr. David Frei, United Synagogues 
Ms. Helen Haggart, British Academy 
Dr. Myriam Hunter-Henin, University College London 
Dr. Jennifer Jackson Preece, London School of Economics
Professor Satvinder Juss, King’s College London
Professor Paul Kelly, London School of Economics
Dr. Mavis Maclean, University of Oxford
Professor Maleiha Malik, King’s College London
Professor Iain McLean FBA, University of Oxford
Professor Sue Mendus FBA, University of York
Ms. Cheryl Morris, Ministry of Justice
Dr. David Perfect, Equality and Human Rights Commission
Dr. Russell Sandberg, Cardiff University
Mr. Carl Soderbergh, Minority Rights Group International
Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, Equality and Human Rights Commission and Queen Mary University of London
Mr. Shaukat Warraich, Faith Associates
Professor Hugh Williamson FBA, University of Oxford


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