Muslim leaders in Bradford want to set up a “robust and transparent” Islamic court in the city to set a good example for other towns and cities in the UK to follow.

The revelation that talks were taking place for Bradford to have its own Shariah panel came hours before BBC One’s Panorama programme featuring an undercover investigation into Britain’s Shariah courts was screened last night .

The documentary revealed some women claiming to have suffered domestic violence have been ignored by these religious-type courts when they have gone to them for help, prompting calls by campaigners for the parallel legal system which can run counter to British law to be tackled.

According to Bradford’s Council for Mosques, the city does not have such a Shariah system at the moment and the nearest one is in Dewsbury.

However, the Telegraph & Argus understands there are a number of individuals across the district who act independently, giving guidance on religious matters including marital disputes.

Shariah court dealings can include dissolving marriages of women who want their marriages ended on the grounds of abuse, mistreatment or incompatibility.

Bradford Council for Mosques president Mohammed Mushtaq said: “The Panorama programme has drawn our attention to some serious issues which require a robust proactive action on part of the Islamic leadership. We have responsibility to restore the trust and confidence of Muslim women in these important community institutions that they will get fair and unbiased advice and support for their legitimate concerns.

“There is a strong case for the Shariah councils to be better resourced and supported to make their work standardised to ensure consistency and quality across the board.”

Mr Mushtaq said the work of the Shariah council now needed to be recognised at Government level and better resourced with an agreed framework.

He said: “Council for Mosques Bradford is presently consulting Imams and Muslim scholars regarding an appropriate framework that is robust and transparent which may serve as a template for other towns and cities.”

Councillor Imran Hussain, the deputy leader of Bradford Council, who is responsible for the safer and stronger communities portfolio, said: “As a district we take domestic violence very seriously as do the partner agencies we work with and it will continue to be a priority.

“We have a good relationship with the Council for Mosques who are far better placed than I to comment on Shariah courts.”