Faith, democracy, and deliberative citizenship: Should deliberative democrats support faith-based arbitration|[quest]|

Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):102 (2011)
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Although Ontario's first experiment with faith-based arbitration ended in 2006 with the Liberal government's amendment of the 1991 Arbitration Act to disallow faith-based arbitration, the debate about whether such tribunals should be permitted in a multicultural democracy is still open given that actors in a number of jurisdictions persist with campaigns to have faith-based arbitration recognized as legitimate. Are faith-based arbitration tribunals permissible in a multicultural democracy? Does faith-based arbitration put the rights of women and children at risk? More generally, are the requirements of democratic stability and legitimacy compatible with this sort of legal pluralism in family and civil law? The author assesses faith-based arbitration from the perspective of deliberative democracy and argues that, if certain institutional reforms and safeguards are adopted, faith-based arbitration may serve to improve deliberative reciprocity across group boundaries, rather than harm stability and integration in a multicultural democracy as critics suggest



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