WWS Calendar

LAPA Seminar - The Role of Judiciary in Reforming Islamic Law in Non-Muslim Democracies: A Comparison of Israel and Greece

Feb 26, 2018 04:30PM to 06:00PM
301 Marx Hall


Open to the Public
Yüksel Sezgin, LAPA Fellow; Syracuse University
LAPA’s seminar format encourages attendees to familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator opens the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion.

Copies of the seminar paper will be available about 10 days before the event,  during regular business hours at the LAPA Office, 342 Wallace Hall.

From Professor Sezgin:

Should a democratic regime formally incorporate religious laws and courts into its otherwise secular legal system? This is not a hypothetical question. Some democratic nations already formally integrate religion-based laws in the field of family law (especially Muslim Family Law-MFL). Although state-enforced MFLs often affect human rights negatively, many governments, especially non-Muslim majority ones, have refrained from direct legislative interventions into substantive MFLs. Instead they have empowered civil courts to play the role of “reformer.” But how successful have civil judiciaries in non-Muslim regimes been in “reforming” Muslim laws? On the basis of an analysis of the MFL jurisprudence of Israeli and Greek civil courts over the last three decades, I argue that civil courts could not have brought about any direct changes in Muslim law, however, they have had an indirect effect by pressuring religious courts/authorities to undertake self-reform.

More information: Contact Judi Rivkin, jrivkin@princeton.edu