Fellows' Presentation

Qāḍī Justice: Cases and Controversies in Early Islamic Law and Society

Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo

Part of the 2015–2016 Fellows' Presentation Series

Lecture by Intisar A. Rabb RI '16


While we know much about the jurists who operated in early Islamic law, we know less about the judges and those whose problems they addressed. Rabb seeks to investigate early Islamic courts and the people and procedures operating in them. Who appealed to courts, how, and to what end? Moreover, how was the administration of justice in early Islamic law affected by considerations like access to courts, social status, political context, and prosecutorial discretion? Reflexively, how did those considerations affect how laws were made, modified, and played out? Answers to these questions are essential for rounding out the picture of any legal system beyond the four corners of the pages framing the law in the books.