:: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Zakāt, Wealth Tax and Extreme Inequality

By Mahmoud El-Gamal (Rice University) In Book 16 of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, nestled between Chapter 9 regarding alms taxes on merchandise and money and Chapter 11 regarding alms taxes on livestock (the two main forms of wealth in Arabia), we read in Chapter 10, Report 699 a text that condemns hoarding. The report’s representation of hoarded … Continue reading :: Muwaṭṭaʾ Roundtable :: Zakāt, Wealth Tax and Extreme Inequality

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts

Two points remain to be made at the end of this series, arising from a reaction to, and an interaction of relevance to, the previous blog posts. First, an excellent graduate student at Istanbul Şehir University (Ali Rıza Işın), who is as far as one gets from being a naïve individual, decided to feign naiveté and … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers – Afterthoughts

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (4-4)

A minimally professionalized lawyer-advocate is less of an independent agent with interests diverging from those of their appointers. This, in a nutshell, is the image I depicted in three previous posts. If each member of society contemplates needing to defend themselves and their associates in court, they would think differently of rights, laws, and justice. … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (4-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (3-4)

In both Roman and Islamic law, legal representation is not limited to court appearances on behalf of a principal. It is more or less the default in everyday life that men and women (and even children), educated and uneducated, rich and poor—all need to be represented by others, and that need is presumed to arise … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (3-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (2-4)

At the end of the last post we met the negotiorum gestor, an administrator of the business of another, even without any mandate from the principal. The argument for this and for the more recognizable representative, who receives an explicit appointment by the principal, we learn (from Ulpian), was made from “necessity.”  In the Digest, … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (2-4)

Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (1-4)

INTRODUCTION TO A SERIES OF FOUR POSTS In this series, I aim to play with a few ideas. First, I will imagine a society without heavily professionalized sophists who can argue either side in a legal dispute, i.e., lawyer-advocates (posts 1-2). The historical models I employ (Roman and Islamic law) allow me to underscore the … Continue reading Commentary :: Let’s Lose Lawyers (1-4)

Islamic Law at the 2019 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Each year, the Islamic Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (ILS-CRN) helps compose panels on Islamic law at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association. This year’s roster features a host of author-meets-reader book sessions and panels featuring Islamic law. Tamir Moustafa of Simon Fraser University will respond to commentators' reviews of his … Continue reading Islamic Law at the 2019 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Scholarship in “Plain English”: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation

The constitutions of many Muslim-majority countries contain clauses that declare sharīʿa a source of legislation. These “sharīʿa clauses” may name sharīʿa as “a chief source,” “the chief source,” or “the only source,” among others, of national laws. Though the phrasing of these clauses seems quite similar, some scholars and government officials have ascribed importance to … Continue reading Scholarship in “Plain English”: Clark Lombardi on Sharīʿa as a Source of Legislation

Historical Primary Sources: A Legal and Diplomatic Justification of the Ottoman Declaration of War Against Russia, 1768

This document is a beyānnāme, or declaration, sent by the Ottoman reʾīsül-kuttāb (chief scribe) to Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, justifying the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia by explaining Russia's violation of treaty obligations. The document gives insight into eighteenth-century Ottoman attitudes to international law and its relationship with Islamic law. Contributed by … Continue reading Historical Primary Sources: A Legal and Diplomatic Justification of the Ottoman Declaration of War Against Russia, 1768

Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law in Fukuoka, Japan

Due dates: Abstracts: September 15, 2017 The International Academy of Comparative Law will host the first-ever Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law, to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 as part of the larger quadrennial Congress of Comparative Law. "Younger scholars" are defined as those with no more than ten years … Continue reading Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law in Fukuoka, Japan