British Court Accepts Beth Din Ruling on Custody

First Time Orthodox Panel's Ruling Has Gained U.K. Recognition

By JTA

Published February 04, 2013.
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A British judge reportedly has accepted a U.S. rabbinical court’s ruling in a dispute between a haredi Orthodox man and his ex-wife.

A judge of the London-based High Court of Justice last month adopted the rulings of a New York Beth Din on a case involving a British haredi Orthodox man and woman, according to a Feb. 1 report in the Jewish Chronicle,.The ruling was the first of its kind in England and Wales, the newspaper said.

The man and the woman, who were married in 2006 and separated in 2009, were due to appear before the judge to determine custody issues concerning their two children but had sought arbitration by the Beth Din before their court date. They were supposed to move to Toronto but ended up staying in the United Kingdom, the article said.

Justice Baker examined the Beth Din’s principles and ensured they matched English law, according to the Jewish Chronicle. The Beth Din had published its full ruling in 2011, but a final settlement was only made last year.

In making the judgment, the judge however ruled that the Beth Din result could not be legally binding in England, in order that it not supersede English law.

“The outcome was in keeping with English law, whilst achieved by a process rooted in Jewish culture to which the families belong,” Baker said.


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