Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program is hosting its 2016 conference on Courts and Judicial Procedure in Early Islamic Law. The conference will be May 6, 2016. The submission deadline has passed.
Much attention has long been accorded to substantive rulings in early Islamic contexts, and recent work has highlighted social histories surrounding courts. But few of those studies place particular emphasis on judicial procedure. Answers to questions of procedure are essential for rounding out the picture of any legal system beyond the four corners of the pages framing the law in the books or the unbounded conception of law as it affects society. Procedure informs both inquiries.
By bringing together scholars of Islamic law from different periods, this conference seeks to uncover the inner workings of courts and the administration of justice in medieval Islamic lands, 632-1250 AD. Paper presenters are expected to provide papers ready for publication in an edited volume that asks specific questions with respect to one to three cases or controversies. The resulting book will draw on interdisciplinary methods of legal history scholarship to produce a collected account of Islamic practices of judicial procedure in early Islamic societies, east and west.