By E. Stiles
Stiles makes use of in-depth ethnographic examine of judicial reasoning and litigant task in Islamic kin courtroom in Zanzibar, Tanzania to attract new and significant conclusions on how humans comprehend and use Islamic felony principles in marital disputes.
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Additional resources for An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning
36 An Islamic Court in Context For many years, Shaykh Hamid came to the court every Monday through Thursday. On a typical day, he would hear several disputes and talk with many disputants and visitors. On the rare days when no hearings were scheduled and few walk-ins sought his aid, Shaykh Hamid stayed in court to research cases, read relevant texts, and write decisions until midday. Most of the time, the staff at the Mkokotoni court consisted of one kadhi, two clerks, two messengers, and, toward the end of my first research trip, a typist.
However, later historians have criticized this view, noting instead that the allegations of corruption likely stemmed from the fact that British administrators were not knowledgeable about local norms of exchange and gift giving. Pouwels, for example, writes that foreign officials often interpreted the practice of giving gifts of thanks to the kadhi as instances of bribery (1987). Much like today, community leaders known as shehas also held authority in Zanzibari communities in the pre-Sultanate and Sultanate periods.
7 The existing system was instituted in 1985, in what Bierwagen and Peter have termed a “silent revolution” in the organization of the judicial system (1989). This is an apt description since the People’s Courts were eliminated and replaced by a return to common law in a variation on the protectorate system. The 1984 constitution established a new High Court of Zanzibar and two types of subordinate courts: magistrates’ and kadhi’s courts. The Kadhi’s Courts Act of 1985 established Islamic courts at both the primary and appellate levels.
An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning by E. Stiles