When is Sharia law OK?

There has been some controversy over a Florida judge's use of Sharia law in a case. Florida Judge Defends Decision to Apply Islamic Law in Tampa Case

The judge was right. The case was an arbitration, and the judge decided that the arbitrator could be guided by Sharia law, because that is what the parties had agreed.

The agreement to arbitrate is the heart of the arbitration and establishes the rules. The parties could agree that the arbitration be guided by Klingon law if they could figure out exactly what Klingon law was. (Need a Trekkie arbitrator, I guess.) An arbitration is a private contractual matter.

The arbitrator may not fashion a remedy that violates our law, like a beheading or stoning or anything. If the Sharia remedy does not violate Florida law, the Sharia remedy would be perfectly OK in a private arbitration.


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