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By E. Stiles

Stiles makes use of in-depth ethnographic examine of judicial reasoning and litigant task in Islamic relatives courtroom in Zanzibar, Tanzania to attract new and critical conclusions on how humans comprehend and use Islamic criminal principles in marital disputes.

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Additional info for An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning

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Mkoani South Zanzibar Town Central Central East North B North A Central North South Today, the codified laws relevant in Zanzibar include British and Indian laws, which are considered applicable until replaced by local law. In addition to imported law, the constitution establishes that different types of local laws are also authoritative. These include those Sultanic decrees from the past that were countersigned by the British Resident, decrees of the revolutionary council, customary law, union legislation, and Islamic law.

For a variety of reasons, it was far easier to formally interview plaintiffs than defendants. For one, most plaintiffs were female, and as a woman it was easier for me to talk to women than men about marital problems. ) Also, in court, Shaykh Hamid and the clerks made a point of directing women litigants to me so we could talk after they had opened a case. They did not make a point of asking men to talk to me, but also did not discourage it, and I managed to conduct some in-court interviews with male plaintiffs.

A 1908 decree gave British judges more authority in the Sultan’s courts and gradually moved toward an assimilation of the two jurisdictions (Vaughan 1935, Stockreiter 2008). In 1923, the British Subordinate Courts Order K ADHI, Court, and Anthropologist 17 and Zanzibar Courts Decree were passed. This legislation established five classes of subordinate courts, including kadhis courts, and moved toward merging the two jurisdictions. All of the courts were to have criminal jurisdiction save those of the kadhi, which heard all other matters in which both parties were Muslim.

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