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Is There a Right to Choose a Religious Jurisdiction over the Civil Courts? The Application of Sharia Law in the Minority in Western Thrace, Greece

Independent Author, 11633 Athens, Greece
Religions 2019, 10(4), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10040260
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
The minority in Western Thrace, Greece, has long enjoyed a special status where family and inheritance matters were subject to Sharia law and religious jurisdiction (Mufti). After judicial controversy for many years over the compulsory character of this “minority privilege”, the matter has been brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In view of the hearing of the case of Molla Sali v. Greece before the Grand Chamber, the Greek Parliament voted for the possibility for the members of this minority to choose either religious or civil law and jurisdiction—a right for them to exit the minority community. Although a step forward, this right raises a serious challenge to the rule of equality before the law and the right to a fair trial. Therefore, the paper seeks its possible legal foundations in the international obligations of the Greek state to protect religious freedom and the minority community and stresses the need to be accompanied by the “right to voice”, meaning a true reform of the procedure before the Mufti and an effective constitutionality control of his decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: legal pluralism; Sharia law; Western Thrace; religious exemptions; minority; religious equality; non-discrimination legal pluralism; Sharia law; Western Thrace; religious exemptions; minority; religious equality; non-discrimination
MDPI and ACS Style

Kalampakou, E. Is There a Right to Choose a Religious Jurisdiction over the Civil Courts? The Application of Sharia Law in the Minority in Western Thrace, Greece. Religions 2019, 10, 260. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10040260

AMA Style

Kalampakou E. Is There a Right to Choose a Religious Jurisdiction over the Civil Courts? The Application of Sharia Law in the Minority in Western Thrace, Greece. Religions. 2019; 10(4):260. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10040260

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kalampakou, Eleni. 2019. "Is There a Right to Choose a Religious Jurisdiction over the Civil Courts? The Application of Sharia Law in the Minority in Western Thrace, Greece" Religions 10, no. 4: 260. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10040260

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