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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Introduction to Middle Eastern Law

ISBN13: 9780199230495
Published: June 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £89.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780199563876

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This book provides an introduction to the laws of the Middle East, defining the contours of a field of study that deserves to be called 'Middle Eastern law'. It introduces Middle Eastern law as a reflection of legal styles, many of which are shared by Islamic law and the laws of Christian and Jewish Near Eastern communities. It offers a detailed survey of the foundations of Middle Eastern Law, using court archives and an array of legal sources from the earliest records of Hammurabi to the massive compendia of law in the Islamic classical age through to the latest decisions of Middle Eastern high courts. It focuses on the way legislators and courts conceive of law and apply it in the Middle East. It builds on the author's extensive legal practice, with the aim of introducing the Middle Eastern law's main sources and concepts in a manner accessible to non-specialist legal scholars and practitioners alike.

The book begins with an exploration of the depth and variety of Middle Eastern law, introducing the concepts of shari'a , fiqh , and qanun , (which all mean 'law'), and dwelling on Islamic law as the 'common law' of the Middle East. It provides a historical introduction to the contemporary Middle East, exploring political systems, constitutional law, judicial review, the laws of tort and obligations, commercial law (including Islamic banking, company law, capital markets, and commercial arbitration); and examines legislative reform in family law and the position of women in the legal system. The author considers the interaction between Islamic and Western laws and includes a bibliography designed for further research into the jurisdictions and themes explored throughout the book.

  • Introduces the non-specialist to the long history and distinctive sources of law in the Middle East
  • Provides access to a complex legal tradition of many languages and offers a bibliography designed for further research into the jurisdictions and themes explored in the book
  • Argues that the laws of the Middle East have a distinctive legal 'style' and form a discrete 'legal family' comparable to the common and civil law traditions
  • Examines topical issues including Islam, democracy, and human rights; the renaissance of indigenous laws in Islamic banking and company law and the position of women in the legal systems of the Middle East

Islamic Law
1. From Islamic to Middle Eastern Law: a Restatement of the Field
I History
2. The Formation of Middle Eastern law
II Public Law
3. Introduction to the Contemporary Middle East
4. Constitutional Law: the Specificity of Middle Eastern Constitutionalism
5. Constitutional Review: the Spread of Constitutional Councils and Courts
6. Judicial Review
III Private Law
7. Introduction to the Age of Codification
8. Civil law: on Style and Substance
9. Commercial Law: Modernity and its Hiccups
10. Family Law: the Search for Gender Equality
11. Epilogue: Justice and Lawyering in the Middle East
Tables of Cases, legislation, Verses and Hadiths