Did Republican Turkey Really Abolish the Ottoman Caliphate? The Curious Case of Law No. 431

Summary and context: In 1924, Turkey abolished the Ottoman Caliphate through a statute numbered 431, or Law No. 431. The construction of the statute was somewhat ambiguous in that it stated that the Caliphate was abolished because that institution was inherent to the State and the Republic, thus almost justifying its abolishment as a separate … Continue reading Did Republican Turkey Really Abolish the Ottoman Caliphate? The Curious Case of Law No. 431

Kadijustiz in Turkish Constitutional Adjudication: Islamic Law as an Aversive Model?

Professor Kim Lane Scheppele has convincingly drawn attention to the fact that most legal scholarship on citations of foreign law by supreme or constitutional courts tends to focus on citations of “positive” models, that is, models to which the jurisdiction citing them aspires.[1]  Professor Scheppele pluralizes the universe of citations by adding the “aversive” category, … Continue reading Kadijustiz in Turkish Constitutional Adjudication: Islamic Law as an Aversive Model?

Religious Accommodation in an Assertively Secular Legal System: Mahr and the Turkish Case

In 1926, the young Turkish Republic abandoned its codified Islamic personal status law and replaced it with the secular Swiss Civil Code.[1] The new republican government, replacing its Ottoman predecessor, also adopted the Swiss Code of Obligations laying out the law of contracts.[2] Both of these legal transplants were part of a larger movement concerned … Continue reading Religious Accommodation in an Assertively Secular Legal System: Mahr and the Turkish Case

Commentary: The US, the UK, and the Model of Competitive Equality

This commentary, by SHARIAsource U.A.E. and Malaysia editor Paul Lee, examines the U.S. and the U.K. as an example of a model of competitive equality for the regulation of sharīʿa compliance in Islamic finance. The regulation of Islamic finance has generally been an area to which Western jurisdictions have devoted limited attention, and courts and regulators have … Continue reading Commentary: The US, the UK, and the Model of Competitive Equality

Commentary: Codifying Polygamy in the 1957 Moroccan Mudawwana

In this commentary, SHARIAsource contributor Ari Schriber discusses Morocco's 1957 Personal Status Code, the country's first unified set of family law statutes. He address the provisions concerning polygamy in particular, and the government's attempts to evoke an Islamic basis for legalizing polygamy while simultaneously appearing to limit it in the name of protecting women. Read … Continue reading Commentary: Codifying Polygamy in the 1957 Moroccan Mudawwana

Minority Religious Legal Identity within the Modern Nation State: A Case Study of the Ismāʿīlī Constitution

In 1986, the Aga Khan IV promulgated a global Ismāʿīlī Constitution, which brought the social governance of the Ismāʿīlī community under one umbrella. It was envisioned as a document that could harness the best in individual creativity while creating an ethos of group responsibility. The Ismāʿīlī Constitution provides an example of the way in which … Continue reading Minority Religious Legal Identity within the Modern Nation State: A Case Study of the Ismāʿīlī Constitution

Guardian Council and the Ultimate Power

This post analyzes the self-proclaimed power of Iran’s Guardian Council to strike down previously approved laws due to claims of inconsistency with sharīʿa. In order to contextualize this problem, I analyze a recent opinion of the Guardian Council that nullified the results of recent elections, on grounds that a law legalizing membership of religious minorities in … Continue reading Guardian Council and the Ultimate Power

How Was Secularism Added to the Turkish Constitution? The Varying Rationales

While the founding fathers of the Turkish Republic erased reference to Islam in the Constitution in early 1928, it was not until 1937 that the term “secularism” was inserted into the text of the Constitution. While this legal move was backed up by full parliamentary support in the form of a constitutional amendment, a closer … Continue reading How Was Secularism Added to the Turkish Constitution? The Varying Rationales

The Problem of Nonfinality of Judicial Decisions in Iran’s Sharīʿa-Compliance Jurisprudence

This post argues that there is an excessive focus on sharīʿa -compatibility for legislation and judicial decisions in Iran. Even when a law enters into force or a judicial decision becomes final there are still tools for the Guardian Council to legally invalidate the law or reverse the judicial decision. Assessing the problem of nonfinality … Continue reading The Problem of Nonfinality of Judicial Decisions in Iran’s Sharīʿa-Compliance Jurisprudence

The Aga Khan Case: An Example of the Law’s Role in Religious Identity Formation

The Khoja Case, also known as the Aga Khan Case, is one of the rare cases profiling the ShīʿĪ Imāmī Nizārī Ismāʿīlī community (henceforth “Ismāʿīlīs”). Decided in the High Court of Bombay in 1866 by the Honorable Sir Joseph Arnould, this case was brought by a series of Ismāʿīlī plaintiffs who argued that the Ismāʿīlī … Continue reading The Aga Khan Case: An Example of the Law’s Role in Religious Identity Formation