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http://ssrn.com/abstract=910426
 
 

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Do Constitutions Requiring Adherence to Sharia Threaten Human Rights?: How Egypt's Constitutional Court Reconciles Islamic Law with the Liberal Rule of Law


Clark B. Lombardi


University of Washington School of Law

Nathan J. Brown


George Washington University - Department of Political Science


American University International Law Review, Vol. 21, pp. 379-435, 2006

Abstract:     
Over the last thirty years, a number of Muslim countries, including most recently Afghanistan and Iraq, have adopted constitutions that require the law of the state to respect fundamental Islamic legal norms. What happens when countries with a secular legal system adopt these "constitutional Islamization" provisions? How do courts interpret them? This article will present a case study of constitutional Islamization in one important and influential country, Egypt. In interpreting Egypt's constitutional Islamization provision, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt has interpreted Shari'a norms to be consistent with international human rights norms and with liberal economic policies. The experience of Egypt does not tell us how constitutional Islamization will necessarily unfold in every country. It does demonstrate that, in a world where Islamic norms are contested, a progressive court can effectively develop and apply a theory that interprets Islamic legal norms to be consistent with democracy, international human rights and economic liberalism.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: Islam, Islamic Law, International Law, Human Rights, Constitutional Law

JEL Classification: K1, K19, K3, K33, K39, K4, P2

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Date posted: June 22, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Lombardi, Clark B. and Brown, Nathan J., Do Constitutions Requiring Adherence to Sharia Threaten Human Rights?: How Egypt's Constitutional Court Reconciles Islamic Law with the Liberal Rule of Law. American University International Law Review, Vol. 21, pp. 379-435, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=910426

Contact Information

Clark B. Lombardi (Contact Author)
University of Washington School of Law ( email )
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
(206) 543-4939 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.washington.edu/Faculty/Lombardi

Nathan J. Brown
George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Washington, DC 20052
United States
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