Extraordinary Courts (People's courts) to be restricted

Edit: final phase 2 wording:

Extraordinary Courts

i) Extraordinary courts shall not be allowed. Except for extradition to another jurisdiction in accordance with the law and this Constitution, no person may be removed from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom or the relevant senior courts of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

ii) Courts for particular fields of law may be established only by a law.


Grabbing an idea from German basic law. 

People's Courts of all kinds shall be curtailed in both scope and power. No court that is not part of the constitutional judicial system shall issue a binding judgement nor issue a judgement which is in conflict with the law. Any such court found to be acting in this way could be disbanded and any individuals involved prohibited from participation in future in any such exercise, by order of a judge. 

Contractual arbitration would be explicitly excluded from this provision.

The practical outcome of this would be to severely curtail the ability of religious courts (Sharia, Beth din, Ecclesiastical courts) to make decisions which come into conflict with the law. If members of such groups want to use them to provide guidance that's fine, but they should not be allowed to make any judgement binding. 

This is most definitely not an attempt to be controversial, by the way. There is a lot of misunderstanding about the role and scope of such courts and the vast majority stay well within the law. However, it would address a lot if the concerns people have about religious courts generally. 

edited on Apr 18, 2015 by Daniel Gaunt

Emma McNulty Apr 11, 2015

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Tom Austin Apr 12, 2015

Yes Ian, the Law of the land should assert itself at all times and in all places. [Which begs the question of why 'contract law' should be excluded?]

Rob G Apr 12, 2015

I think in civil law, there's a general feeling that where people can resolve issues themselves, that's better for everyone. A common framework is provided for everyone, but if they believe their needs are better served with a different arrangement, why should they be precluded from agreeing that? Only where there's deemed to be an overriding community interest in a single framework should that be imposed - e.g., in determining who is and is not married, the welfare of children, etc. Or when there's a clear disparity of bargaining power between the parties, so an "agreement" is not genuinely freely entered into by both parties...

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Tom Austin Apr 12, 2015

Yes Rob, I'll concede readily to the reality of 'arbitration', and the future introduction of 'online' conflict resolution. Nevertheless, the Court should stand ready to resolve 'intractabilities'.

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Rob G Apr 18, 2015

Does (i) not prevent extradition? Is that really what this was meant to be about?

Daniel Gaunt Apr 18, 2015

You're right, and that wasn't the intention! Have amended it to reflect.