James Thuo Gathii
This chapter traces the two major trends in thinking about Africa’s engagement with international law from a historical perspective: ‘contributionists’ who emphasize Africa’s contributions to international law, on the one hand; and critical theorists who examine Africa’s subordination in its international relations as a legacy that is traceable to international law, on the other. For authors such as Taslim Elias Olawale, ‘inter-civilizational participation in the process of crafting genuinely universal norms’ has historically involved Africa as a central player. This emphasis on Africa’s participation in the formation of international law amounts to contributionism. Critical theorists, such as Makau Wa Mutua, Siba Grovogui, Kamari Clark, Ibironke Odumosu, and Obiora Okafor, among others, by contrast focus on the manner in which modern international law continues the legacy of colonial disempowerment while providing spaces for resistance and reform.
Fatiha Sahli and Abdelmalek El Ouazzani
This chapter argues that the impact of Islam on the contribution of North Africa in the production of the norms of international law has been but relative. It must be associated with another reality, which is that of the relationships between powers and their competition for domination. All through the centuries of coexistence of the Muslim empires and the European nations, their reciprocal relations were guided by war strategies and by the power games that dominated the Mediterranean world. If there is a contribution of the Muslims to international law, it is in the field of the protection of the laws of the persons, particularly in the laws of the Dhimmi, and more precisely in the laws of the religious minorities and the humane treatment of the war prisoners that it could be found.
This article examines the historical development and social and intellectual functioning of Islamic law in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries. In particular, it considers the progressive stabilization and institutionalization of the four classical Sunni madhhabs (schools of law) and the corresponding developments in Imami Shiʽism; developments in legal theory (usul al-fiqh); and the practical administration of the law. It also discusses the various forms of ijtihad and taqlid that could generate new legal rulings, along with the textual forms and real-world interactions within which legal judgments were sought and expressed. Finally, it looks at the fatwa, which consists of a legal opinion issued in response to an inquiry (istifta’).
The paradigmatic public institution associated with the application of Islamic law from the rise of Islam until the end of the nineteenth century has been the qadi. This essay examines the scholarship on this institution, organizing studies into doctrinal works and empirical works. Doctrinal studies of the qadi are based almost entirely on literary sources, most commonly legal texts. Historical sources have also been important, especially for the pre-Ottoman period. Empirical studies of the qadi, by contrast, base themselves almost entirely on surviving court records. Thus, most empirical studies are limited to courts of the Ottoman Empire which kept systematic records of court decisions in contrast to the courts of previous Muslim states, which did not. In the modern period, there has been a distinct rise in an anthropological approach to the qadi, with numerous studies having been published based on direct observation of the behavior of Muslim judges.
This chapter examines Alberico Gentili’s life and teaching; Gentili and the history of international law; and Gentili and the doctrine of war. In Oxford, Alberico Gentili wrote a large number of works, which can be divided in four main groups: treatises on topics of the civil law, law of nations, issues pertaining to political theology, and various questions of legal erudition. His major works include Three Books on the Law of War, Two Books on the Roman Armies, and Two Books of Spanish Attorneyship.
Syed Adnan Hussain
This article examines the historical origins, sources, and subject-matter jurisdiction of Anglo–Muhammadan law, along with its influence on the trajectories of Islamic law. After providing a short history of Anglo–Muhammadan law, the article discusses its subject matter. In particular, it considers the contributions of Syed Ameer Ali, especially in the area of trust law, or awqaf. It proceeds by looking at various sources of Anglo–Muhammadan law, which include textbooks and English translations of primary texts, case law, and legislation and custom. To give a sense of how Anglo–Muhammadan law operated in case law, the 1922 case of Narantakh v. Parakkal is analysed. The article concludes with an overview of changes in Anglo–Muhammadan law in the immediate period after independence and partition of India.
This chapter examines the scholarship in the new and growing field of study of Islamic animal law. It starts by defining the field of animal law generally and then explaining what makes animal law scholarship Islamic. Turning to Islamic animal law, the chapter first explains the origins of the field and then discusses contemporary Islamic animal law scholarship, which dates to the early twenty-first century and has focused on questions of purity and the dog; causing animals harm; anthropocentricism; and slaughter and the designation of halal. The chapter concludes by identifying promising areas for future scholarship.
John R. Bowen
The anthropology of Islamic law is concerned centrally with observing and analyzing practices governed by explicit norms that are given Islamic justification, from commercial transactions to marriage and divorce to rituals of worship. This article traces the work of anthropologists in courtrooms and in informal social settings, and the process of developing collaborative relationships with text-based scholars. It highlights two recurrent tensions: one between “law” and the Islamic categories of shari’a/fiqh/hukm, the other between emphasizing cultural distinctiveness and emphasizing cross-societal processes of interpreting and applying Islamic texts and tradition. Included in the treatment are shari’a councils, fatwa bodies, mahr and marriage contracts, medical ethics, and realms of ʽibadat.
This chapter notes that the Austrian writer Bertha von Suttner was one of the leading figures of the late 19th-century peace movement. Her novel Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!) was published in 1889 and was soon translated into the most important European languages. In 1891, Suttner founded the Austrian Society for Peace (Österreichische Gesellschaft der Friedensfreunde) and was the major influence on Alfred Nobel’s decision to include a peace prize among those prizes provided in his will. She was awarded Peace Laureate in 1905. Suttner’s attitude towards international law reflects the 19th-century optimism of liberal internationalism, characterized by its belief in rational thought and its advocacy for international cooperation within international institutions. Suttner was a talented propagandist whose aristocratic social background helped her to gain access to circles of power and influence.
David S. Berry
This chapter highlights some of the key issues and themes of Caribbean legal and historical development from the time of first contact between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of the region to the early 20th century. The second section traces the attempts that were made to divide the Old World from the New, and explores the new forms of mercantilism and militarism which resulted. The third section examines two key engines for Caribbean wealth—slavery and sugar production—and traces the gradual and piecemeal abolition of the slave trade and slavery. The fourth section highlights the effect of maritime actors in the Caribbean and their role in maintaining a distinction between the European and Caribbean spheres. The fifth section looks at the role of chartered trading companies. The sixth section examines the impact of two pivotal revolutions: the American and Haitian.