July 25, 2005



The Legislative Awareness Committee of Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 is pleased to inform you of an upcoming event which may be of interest to you, and we extend a warm invitation for you to attend.


As you may be aware, concerns have been raised about permitting Muslim personal law (“Sharia Law”) to be applied in private arbitrations conducted under the provisions of the Arbitration Act of Ontario.


In response to those concerns, Attorney General Michael Bryant and the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Sandra Pupatello, asked former Attorney General Marion Boyd in June of 2004 to review “the use of arbitration in family and inheritances cases and to examine the impact that the use of arbitration has on vulnerable people, including women, persons with disabilities and elderly persons.” 


The review process culminated in the release in December 2004 of a Report entitled “Dispute Resolution in Family Law:  Protecting Choice, Promoting Inclusion”.  In short, Ms. Boyd recommended that arbitration continue to be a dispute resolution mechanism available in family and inheritance cases and that Ontario’s Arbitration Act continue to allow disputes to be arbitrated using religious law - if recommended safeguards are added to those already prescribed in the legislation.


Considerable opposition to the Report’s recommendations has been voiced since its release.  Ontario’s Liberal Government is considering what changes should be made to the 15-year-old Arbitration Act, in light of the Boyd Report’s recommendations and concerns that continue to be voiced by various groups and individuals.


We have invited Marion Boyd and Homa Arjomand, the Toronto-based co-ordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada, to Hamilton to speak about the complex issues underlying this dispute.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005





(Corner of Main and McNab St. – Public parking off McNab)


7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

(Doors Open at 6:45 a.m.)




$25.00 – Continental Breakfast


Tickets available by calling:  Patti Oosterveld (905-627-5076) – or Anita Isaac (905-648-5426)


(Proceeds from this event will be used in support of a Zonta initiative to hire teachers in Afghanistan)