A Seat at the Table: Islamic Law’s Neglected Potential in Universalising International Humanitarian Law
Norman Weiss and Andreas Zimmermann (eds.), Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law: Challenges Ahead (EE 2021)
16 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 2, 2021
International law is yet to live up to its name. Despite its intended universal application, critiques of international law have revealed its biases, including its European proclivities. TWAIL scholars have elucidated how international law replicates and perpetuates colonial relationships of dominance and subordination in contemporary times. Breaking with the colonial past is therefore a complex and ongoing undertaking, which includes decentring the West and making space for the rest. This chapter outlines some of the main TWAIL critiques of international law before focusing on international humanitarian law and proposing a manner in which to make it more genuinely universal. The chapter argues that despite being historically and normatively germane to international humanitarian law, Islamic laws of war have been epistemically neglected. Not only does Islamic law warrant further attention in practice and scholarship and a matter of principle, it is, in fact, necessary for addressing contemporary conflicts that disproportionately impact the Muslim world.
Keywords: International Law, International Humanitarian Law, TWAIL, Universality, Islamic Law, International Criminal Court
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