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Constitution

University of Washington School of Law

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Constitutional Provisions Making Sharia “A” Or “The” Chief Source Of Legislation: Where Did They Come From? What Do They Mean? Do They Matter?, Clark B. Lombardi Jan 2013

Constitutional Provisions Making Sharia “A” Or “The” Chief Source Of Legislation: Where Did They Come From? What Do They Mean? Do They Matter?, Clark B. Lombardi

Articles

The constitutions of many Arab countries provide that Islamic law ("shari'a") is a "source" of national law. Indeed, some make shari'a norms "a chief source," of state law. Other stronger provisions even declare them to be "the chief source" or "the only source" of legislation. There has been surprisingly little historical scholarship about these clauses, either in Arabic or in Western languages. There has also been almost no systematic comparative scholarship looking at the way that these clauses have been interpreted in different countries. In both Western scholarship and in popular Arab discourse one finds considerable confusion about where these …


Designing Islamic Constitutions: Past Trends And Options For A Democratic Future, Clark B. Lombardi Jan 2013

Designing Islamic Constitutions: Past Trends And Options For A Democratic Future, Clark B. Lombardi

Articles

In recent years a growing number of countries have adopted constitutional provisions requiring that state law respect Islamic law (sharia). Muslims today are deeply divided, however, about what types of state action are consistent with sharia. Thus, the impact of a "Sharia Guarantee Clause" depends to a large degree on questions of constitutional design -- on who is given the power to interpret and apply the provision and on what procedures that they follow when making their decisions. This article explores the trends that gave rise to SGCs and provides a history of their incorporation into national constitutions. It then …