Reports about the possible establishment of first-ever Sharia courts in Scotland are sparking debate among proponents and critics of a paralegal legal system. “Those using Sharia law are fully entitled to religious freedom as long as it doesn’t conflict with criminal law,” said Aamer Anwar, a civil rights lawyer in Glasgow. The Church of Scotland said that it would welcome the possibility of introducing sharia courts, provided they meet three crucial standards – that they not break fundamental tenants of the Human Rights Act, that it not preclude recourse to the courts, and must respect the rights of women. The move is receiving opposition by several quarters in Scottish society.

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