Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

The Problem with Religious Family Mediation: Part 1

The Problem with Religious Family Mediation: Part 1

Speakers: Jasvir Singh, Shabana Saleem

Date: Friday 4th March 2016

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP


Event Details:

Over the years there has been growing study and concern regarding the use of religious mediation to resolve family dispute. This talk considers the use of Muslim and Sikh mediation processes to resolve family disputes relating to divorce, children arrangements and financial disputes after separation.

What are the common family disputes raised in religious family mediations? Who are the mediators that hold such a powerful role in resolving these disputes? Does the use of elders in the community constitute mediation? Why are individuals referring to religious mediation when they have the secular state courts available to them?

Religious mediation has attracted criticism due to the increasing use of cross-cultural mediation and the move of family disputes away from state legal processes, by women from minority ethnic and religious communities. This ‘privatisation’ of disputes has created a complex relationship between members of the religious community and the state.

Do you think religious mediation has a role to play in resolving family disputes?

In this first of a two part talk taking a closer look at religious mediation, the panel explores the history of religious mediation within the Muslim and Sikh communities and the challenges faced with religious mediation in society today.



Jasvir Singh is an established Family Law Barrister. Based in Temple, he's been in practice for the last 10 years. He is Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London, a regional board member for Remembering Srebrenica, a contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, and founder of City Sikhs.

Shabana Saleem is a Family Law Barrister advising on all areas of family law, particularly children proceedings and financial issues arising from separation. Shabana has an expertise in Islamic and Middle East law. She is a Direct Access Barrister, advising members of the public. Previously, Shabana lectured at City University in International Arbitration and Human Rights. She has also worked at the House of Lords for the Forced Marriage (Civil Remedies) Bill.


Additional details:

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact us: