An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of by Erin E. Stiles

By Erin E. Stiles

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This perceptive ethnographic learn bargains perception into the workings of the modern Islamic felony process. in keeping with fieldwork in Zanzibar, Stiles sheds mild on how humans comprehend and use Islamic criminal rules in marital disputes and at the judicial reasoning and litigant job in Islamic family members courtroom. offering specific interpretations, this publication indicates that Islamic judges (kadhis), clerks, and litigants cause utilizing not just their understandings of Islamic legislations but additionally their perspectives of actual and excellent marital habit, neighborhood authority, and the court’s function in the neighborhood. Stiles’ account presents a compelling and far-reaching contribution to socio-legal scholarship.

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Additional resources for An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning

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Juxtaposing courtroom ethnography with court-produced documents illustrates the way in which the many different parties to a dispute may exercise authority and exert authorial control in constructing claims and resolving disputes. This process allows us to glimpse the particular legal issues court actors consider most important or, strategically, most persuasive. 1057/9780230103115 - An Islamic Court in Context, Erin E. Stiles Court Actors and Court Procedure 35 oral testimony and spoken claims into a written document, and the kadhi turns argument into a written account and uses it to inform his decision.

1057/9780230103115 - An Islamic Court in Context, Erin E. Stiles 26 An Islamic Court in Context were much harder to interview, however, as some were angry about being summoned to court, and others seemed to move through their proceedings faster without lingering in the court; the kadhi and clerks did not direct them to me, and I was often uncomfortable asking them to talk. Of the 40 or 50 marital disputes that are brought to the Mkokotoni court every year, maintenance claims, divorce suits, and pleas for the return of missing wives and restitution of marital rights are common.

Martin writes that Shafi’i and Ibadhis appeared to be on the “same footing” in the barazas, or regular meetings, of the Zanzibar Sultans (1971). He notes, however, that this was more prominent under Said than Barghash, and more of the ulama under Said and Majid were Shafi’i. Barghash divided his territory into small polities, wilayat, over which liwalis presided with some power to resolve disputes. He also sent Ibadhi kadhis into the non-Arab interior of the islands of Zanzibar, which were populated primarily by adherents of the Shafi’i madhhab.

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