Research Handbook on Law and Religion
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Research Handbook on Law and Religion

Edited by Rex Ahdar

Offering an interdisciplinary, international and philosophical perspective, this comprehensive Research Handbook explores both perennial and recent legal issues that concern the modern state and its interaction with religious communities and individuals.
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Chapter 12: Enforcing religious law

Farrah Ahmed


This chapter outlines two main legal regimes through which the law gives effect to religious norms in contemporary states: personal law systems and religious alternative dispute resolution. It examines the Indian personal law regime as an exemplar of how personal law systems work. It then critically evaluates this regime. The second part of the chapter analyses the operation of regimes of religious alternative dispute resolution and then critically evaluates such regimes. There are important differences between the personal law system, on the one hand, and religious alternative dispute resolution or religious tribunals, on the other. This chapter explores their main features, and evaluates them against the context of the questions and controversies that surround them.

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