An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of by Erin E. Stiles

By Erin E. Stiles

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This perceptive ethnographic examine bargains perception into the workings of the modern Islamic felony approach. in accordance with fieldwork in Zanzibar, Stiles sheds mild on how humans comprehend and use Islamic felony principles in marital disputes and at the judicial reasoning and litigant task in Islamic kinfolk court docket. providing certain interpretations, this publication exhibits that Islamic judges (kadhis), clerks, and litigants cause utilizing not just their understandings of Islamic legislations but additionally their perspectives of genuine and excellent marital habit, neighborhood authority, and the court’s position in the neighborhood. Stiles’ account presents a compelling and far-reaching contribution to socio-legal scholarship.

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Additional info for An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning

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Two wooden chairs for disputants sat facing the desk. The clerks’ desk was near the doorway. It was much smaller and far less tidy; most of the time it was piled high with case files. I always sat on a chair against the wall near Shaykh Hamid’s desk; I was often unlucky and got the worst chair in the room with the broken rattan seat. Until a typist was hired in the middle of 2000, the one very old and very noisy typewriter sat on the clerks’ desk and the chief clerk, Bwana Fumu, did most of the typing by hunting and pecking with two fingers.

12 An Islamic Court in Context Decades ago, Laura Nader and Barbara Yngvesson argued that to understand legal practice in the courts, anthropological studies of law must not focus solely on court practice but must also consider the litigants themselves and the historical role of the courts in the wider community (1973). To this end, I did extensive research in Kinanasi and the wider community surrounding the court concerning locally held ideas about marriage and divorce, dispute resolution, religious practice, and how people gain knowledge about the law.

1057/9780230103115 - An Islamic Court in Context, Erin E. Stiles 30 An Islamic Court in Context documents, the chapter focuses on the way in which disputes are framed by litigants, court staff, and kadhi. In chapter three, I look at practices of marriage and divorce in rural Unguja. ” Many cases in the Mkokotoni court involve disputes about whether a divorce took place outside of the court. Most often, these are situations in which a woman believes she was divorced through unilateral repudiation but her husband denies that he divorced her.

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