Islamic courts have been cleared to deal with family and divorce disputes.
Sharia tribunals will be able to decide how a Muslim couple divide their money and property and who gets the children.
The sole proviso from Jack Straw's Justice Ministry is that a formal law court must rubber-stamp the ruling.
This would be in the form of a two-page form sent to a judge sitting in a family court. The divorcing couple would not need to attend.
The decision follows nine months of controversy over the role of tribunals run according to Islamic strictures.