Middle Eastern Law
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law; Université Saint-Joseph
Yale University - Law School
Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, pp. 405-433, 2013
This article maps Middle Eastern law in some of the thousand plateaus where it operates/operated: Mesopotamian law, Roman provincial law, Islamic law, and post-colonial law, with layers within each, such as Elephantine law in Egypt and Jewish and Christian law in Islam's classical age, as well as new worlds of law, such as Byzantine and Ethiopian law, in which scholarship about interaction with other layers of Middle Eastern law is either inexistent or just starting. The focus is directed as much as possible to the extant documentation in the legal record that most affects people's lives: court decisions. For the modern period, we survey, from the point of view of the legal practitioner, lawyer, or judge, the various bodies of case law and codes in the everyday practice of the Middle East lawyer. A legal family analogous to the common or civil law traditions, Middle Eastern law has emerged as a coherent and active discipline that is increasingly a subject of inquiry for historians, social scientists, and others outside of the legal profession. This article presents the field for more sustained attention from lawyers, judges, and law professors.
Date posted: November 6, 2013
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