Due Process in Islamic Criminal Law

27 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018 Last revised: 19 Sep 2019

See all articles by Sadiq Reza

Sadiq Reza

Harvard University - Criminal Justice Institute; Visiting Professor, Boston University School of Law (2019-20); New York Law School

Date Written: September 1, 2013


Rules and principles of due process in criminal law--how to, and how not to, investigate crime and criminal suspects, prosecute the accused, adjudicate criminal cases, and punish the convicted--appear in the traditional sources of Islamic law: the Quran, the Sunna, and classical jurisprudence. But few of these rules and principles are followed in the modern-day practice of Islamic criminal law. Rather, states that claim to practice Islamic criminal law today mostly follow laws and practices of criminal procedure that were adopted from European nations in the twentieth century, without reference to the constraints and protections of Islamic law itself. To enforce Islam's criminal prohibitions and punishments without recognizing and heeding its own procedural rules and principles is to prosecute and punish unjustly. What constitutes criminal due process from an Islamic perspective must therefore be identified, articulated, and enforced. The result would be greater compliance with both Islamic norms and international standards of human rights.

Suggested Citation

Reza, Sadiq, Due Process in Islamic Criminal Law (September 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3097229

Sadiq Reza (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Criminal Justice Institute ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9762 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://clinics.law.harvard.edu/cji/

Visiting Professor, Boston University School of Law (2019-20) ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

New York Law School

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

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