Via Luke, comes news of strange goings on in London's ultra-Orthodox community. Not a story I've heard before, so I'm not going to comment till I know more, but I was surprised to read this final paragraph:
"The high profile court case is threatening to shed light on the inner workings of the Jewish establishment, highlighting the secretive work of the Beth Din, the Jewish tribunals which rule on cases involving criminal, civil or religious law. The tribunals originate in early jewish history when the 12 tribes of Israel set up the first law courts."
First thoughts: while I think the Beth Din has biblical origins - like many Jewish practices - I believe the origin is in Moses, judging together with other judges. And the work of the Beth Din is hardly secret: the United Synagogue Beth Din has its own website, and the Federation's Beth Din, in which this case occurs, is mentioned here. There seems to be a connotation of primitive practice in the article, that I don't quite understand.