News Roundup: Brunei

Last week, Brunei enacted its long-standing draft criminal law bill that it first proposed in 2014 in an attempt to bring state control over crime, in a way that responds to both conventional and Islamic traditional norms. Celebrities and media commentators have widely criticized the bill, as reported in major media outlets, for making gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning — prompting subject-matter experts to respond that the procedures limit applications of the punishment. As further elaborated in SHARIAsource’s Country Profile, Brunei’s Constitution designates Islamic law is the principal source of legislation. However, Islamic law has not traditionally featured in Brunei’s criminal law, and the current laws are a continuation of changes that the Sultan of Brunei began implementing in 2014. We plan to gather experts on the region and in Islamic criminal law to comment on what drove this law and what the latest controversy is really about. For a deeper dive into the what and the why, stay tuned!