23 March 2015
ARTICLE: Ramadan on Islamic Legal Hybridity and Patriarchal Liberalism in the Shari'a Courts in Israel
I'm pleased to report that another paper linked to our Doing Justice: Official and Unofficial ‘Legalities’ in Practice Colloquium, held at the Centre Jacques-Berque (Rabat, Morocco) from 15-16 June 2012, has been published.
The civil judicial family law system and the shari‘a courts in Israel are a fascinating site for the study of legal hybridity, particularly with regard to cases involving the legal and religious rights of women. Legal hybridity is found both in the shari‘a courts, even when ruling on cases that are under their exclusive jurisdiction, and in the family courts that apply provisions of Islamic and Israeli law. In this article, I examine as a case study of the problem of appointing a woman as arbitrator between quarelling spouses in the shari‘a court arbitration process. This example shows how a shari‘a court operates under pressure from the secular civil judicial system. It is discernible how a system of legal hybridity gives rise to multiple discourses deriving from different normative systems and various players—such as human rights organizations, Islamic feminist movements, secular feminist movements, and the Israel Supreme Court—seeking to navigate the discourse in pursuit of their interests. My central thesis is that this system of legal hybridity is enhancing a patriarchal liberalism that is filled with obstacles and hurdles preventing full equality.