Saudi, Sharia Laws Applied in US Courts
Particularly in light of the fooforaw following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement about the inevitability of Sharia law in the UK, this piece from The Volokh Conspiracy on the application of Saudi Sharia law in Texas and Minnesota is interesting, to say the least!
The issue is not actually whether Saudi law applies in Texas (or other states as the article notes), but whether people can, in the course of making contracts, require that Sharia law be applied as the rule for arbitration. It’s a bit complicated, but the courts’ decisions are worth reading. And certainly read the entirety of the Volokh post. The comments, particularly about how Jewish laws can be enforced through arbitration in US courts are also worth while.
Read all about this (and Osama is even involved). But wait, it’s also in Minnesota. And in New Jersey (Nat’l Group for Communications & Computers Ltd. v. Lucent Technologies Int’l, Inc., 331 F. Supp. 2d 290 (D.N.J. 2004)).
Oddly enough, the American courts treat this as a perfectly normal matter. In the first two cases I cited, the parties entered into a contract that provided for Sharia arbitration; the courts considered challenges to the arbitral process, and upheld the awards. The third case involved a contractual provision expressly stating that disputes about the contract would be resolved under Saudi Arabian law; the court then dutifully investigated what the Saudi rules (which are built on Sharia) would call for, and rendered judgment “based upon this Court’s review of various academic texts, the testimony of the experts, the submissions of the parties, and the Court’s understanding of the fundamental principles of Islamic law as they would be interpreted by a court in Saudi Arabia.”
Cross posted at Crossroads Arabia