The London Beth Din serves the Anglo-Jewish Orthodox community as a forum for the adjudication of disputes. It allows adherents of Jewish law to have their disputes resolved in a manner consistent with the rules of Jewish law (halacha). It acts an arbitration body, comprising rabbinic judges and has a well-earned reputation for conducting arbitration proceedings with professionalism, competence, integrity, confidentiality and fairness.
The parties to any such dispute are required to sign a formal, legally-binding Arbitration Agreement prior to a hearing taking place. The effect of this is that the decision (Award) given by the London Beth Din can be enforced by the civil courts. The London Beth Din arbitration process is known as a Din Torah.
Types of cases
The London Beth Din arbitrates a wide range of disputes among parties, ranging in value from small to high-value claims. These cases are primarily commercial, such as employer-employee, landlord-tenant, real property, partnership, breach of contract, unfair competition disputes etc. They also include communal issues such as Rabbinic contract disputes and other congregational issues.
In English law, there are some matters that are either unenforceable or for which the Beth Din is not qualified to consider under Arbitration Law. These include financial settlements on a divorce, arrangements for children if parents are in dispute and some aspects of inheritance (see the relevant section on Divorce).
The arbitration procedure at the London Beth Din is straightforward and transparent and hearings take place without prior exchanges of pleadings or evidence. Hearings take place at the offices of the London Beth Din and the issues can often be resolved with only a single hearing. London Beth Din arbitration cases are confidential. The parties frequently represent themselves, although they may be represented. Such representation could take the form of a Rabbinical advocate (a toen), a solicitor or barrister or a friend. Any representatives (male of female) may be Jewish or non-Jewish.
Cases are heard by a panel of three Dayanim (arbitration judges), or on occasion where the parties agree, one Dayan. The Dayanim who sit on cases are leading authorities on Jewish law. Please see here for further information about each of our Dayanim. When appropriate, the London Beth Din may consult professionals as expert witnesses. Regarding witnesses, at its discretion, the London Beth Din may accept evidence from anyone who has knowledge of facts relevant to the case.
The London Beth Din applies Jewish law. Jewish law will often incorporate secular (English) law.
The standard cost of a commercial arbitration is £2,000 per half day. In the case of a small claim, costs should be discussed in advance with the Registrar. Costs in Jewish law are, except in rare circumstances, split equally between the parties. The cost includes the time of three Dayanim and the Registrar for a half day hearing (or pro rata as appropriate) and the subsequent issuing of an Award.
The civil courts enforce decisions issued by the London Beth Din that are conducted pursuant to binding Arbitration Agreements. As such, London Beth Din Awards are subject to the limited review which courts have over Arbitration Awards.
Open a case at the London Beth Din
To commence a Din Torah, please complete the following application form here on our website or print and return a copy of the form to email@example.com or 305 Ballards Lane, London N12 8GB. The application should be accompanied by a deposit payment for the sum of £100 payable to USKB. On receipt of your application, provided that the facts as stated by you give rise to a prima facie case, the defendant(s) will be summoned to a hearing before the London Beth Din.
For more information, please contact us using the form or details below.