Expert Insights

Expert Insights

Working in conjunction with Belief in Mediation and Arbitration (BIMA)

During 2016, the CRS Religious Charities Group connected with other professional working groups to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to providing services for clients.

In conjunction with Belief in Mediation and Arbitration (BIMA), Sarah Anticoni partner and Shabana Saleem barrister from the Family team have hosted three successful breakfast seminars at Fleet Place in August, November and December. These have taken the form of scriptural based dialogue sessions with input from all three Abrahamic faiths and beyond and have focussed on family issues, contract as well as inheritance and probate.

With scriptural texts made available in advance of the sessions, participants have been led through sources of religious and faith based ideas and principles and had the opportunity to discuss the similarities , differences and challenges that arise from the texts themselves or in the application to case studies. A high level of listening, respect and tolerance has enhanced the learning process.

One participant reflected that “ sitting down alone has been a beneficial professional experience”.

Approximately 60 participants (lawyers, religious scholars, mediators and the Metropolitan Police) have engaged in discussions about the context of the scriptures relevant to matters that commonly trigger disputes such as marriage, commercial contracts and probate. The participants have emerged feeling energised remarking "what a wonderful start to the day - I have already learnt so much over breakfast and "I never knew that our faith had so much in common with yours"!

The objectives have been described by Dr Zaza Elsheikh as “Primarily, equipping lawyers, mediators and faith leaders with scriptural sources, their historical context and current application in an increasingly complex world to enhance the service they deliver to their clients who are seeking guidance about the subjects of our sessions. Secondarily, new understanding of "other" and perhaps even friendships will be built between people from different faith communities and none."

Please feel free to have the details of BIMA below if it is useful.

Dr Zaza Johnson Elsheikh

Tel: 01322 314 820


This article was written by Sarah Anticoni. For more information please get in touch with Sarah on +44 (0)20 7203 5180 or via

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