Tag Archives: conflict of laws

Sharia Law In the UK

Evening Standard Newspaper Display: "Sharia Judge: Force Brits Into Burkas"

Next week, several NGOs are sponsoring a seminar in a committee room of the UK House of Commons regarding the supposed dangers of Sharia law in the UK. This is of interest to me for the same reason I’m sure it’s interesting to anyone interested in arbitration and private international law, and also because the bogeyman of Sharia law has political resonance on this side of the Atlantic too: Donald Trump and his surrogates have whipped up uninformed public opposition to Sharia law in the United States. According to a popular website, “Sharia law in the United States of America has reached penetration phase 3,” whatever that means. I’ve written about the American manifestations of anti-Sharia fervor before.

The sponsors of the London event have published accounts of women who say they have suffered at the hands of Sharia courts. I want to discuss one of the accounts to show why the issue of Sharia is much ado about nothing.
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Case of the Day: Shanghai Commercial Bank v. Chang

The case of the day is Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd. v. Chang (Wash. Ct. App. 2016). The bank had a Hong Kong judgment against Chang on account of an unpaid debt. The bank sought recognition and enforcement of the Hong Kong judgment in Washington, where Chang and his wife, Chen, had lived for many years. They were married long before Chang incurred the debt to the bank, though Chen herself had not incurred the debt and didn’t know about it at the time. The trial court held previously held that the Hong Kong judgment was entitled to recognition, and in today’s case it held that the judgment could be enforced against the marital property of Chang and Chen (Washington is a community property state). Chang appealed.
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Kuwait Airways Shamefully Drops New York-London Route To Avoid Serving Israelis

Back in October, I reported that Kuwait Airways, which operates flights between New York and London, was refusing to sell tickets to customers with Israeli passports, citing Kuwaiti law, which forbids doing business with Israelis. After first ignoring the complaint of an Israeli traveler, Eldad Gatt, the Department of Transportation eventually did the right thing, determining that the airline’s policy violated US law, which prohibits unreasonable discrimination. Since then, the airline petitioned for review, but the Department rejected its petition and instructed the airline to cease and desist from further violations of the law.
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