Saturday, July 02 2016

Beth Din courts and 'taking liberty with the law'

   There’s an interesting column by Geoffrey Alderman in the JC this week on Beth Din courts and their ‘taking liberties with the law’.

Alderman highlights instances where the Beth Din courts, the Jewish arbitration system similar to shari’ah councils, have failed those plaintiffs who have presented them their problems through “pressure of a distasteful, quasi-religious nature”.
Alderman mentions a case involving a Charedi mother who accused her husband of sexually abusing their 8 year old daughter; she faced “tremendous pressure…to permit the local Beth Din to deal with the matter, which of course it never did…”
He also mentions the case of a father who contested the decision of a Charedi school to deny his child a place at a taxpayer-aided Charedi school. The father was, Alderman writes, “summoned to a Beth Din to answer the charge that, by insisting on his legal rights, he was guilty of having committed a grave religious infraction.”
With the recent media hysteria on the modus operandi of shari’ah councils in the UK, it is edifying to read an informed account of the inner workings of the Beth Din courts. Perhaps sections of the UK media will take note of Alderman’s column and direct attention to the alleged discriminatory and gender-biased decisions of the Beth Din, as much as they do with shari’ah councils. Justice should be blind, after all.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 13:36

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