Stumbling Blocks to the Secularization of Personal Status Laws in the Lebanese Republic (1926-2013)

in Arab Law Quarterly
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Despite recurrent efforts to introduce a civil personal status code since 1926, personal status laws in Lebanon remain regulated by the confessional codices of the country’s eighteen denominations. This article examines how efforts at secularization were repeatedly thwarted due to veto rights accorded to sectarian heads in the Lebanese Constitution. The codification of sectarian marriage and inheritance laws is related to Lebanon’s confessional political system and to the attendant perpetuation of kinship ties and fluctuating confessional attitudes. The latter are measured and compared diachronically with a series of surveys. Paradoxically, the chronic weakness of the Lebanese state would render top-down reform measures an exceedingly difficult task even as it opened the space for increasingly effective civil society activism aimed at dismantling the juridical hegemony of the sects.

Stumbling Blocks to the Secularization of Personal Status Laws in the Lebanese Republic (1926-2013)

in Arab Law Quarterly

Sections

References

3

J. CasanovaPublic Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press1994).

6

B. HashimIlgha t-Taifiya s-Siyasiya fī Lubnan (Beirut: Dār al-Lubnanī li-n-Nashr2000) p. 31. For more on the contending arguments in this intra-Shia debate Mughniyya ibid.

7

A. AlayliAyna al-Khatā? Tashīh Mafāhīm wa-Nazrat Tajdīd (Beirut: Dār al-ʿIlm li-l-Malāyīn1973).

20

In April 1927the Patriarchs sent a joint declaration to the French High Commissioner affirming Church prerogatives over marriage and inheritance via Church tribunals. I. Khalifeh A la recherche d’une politique ou d’un concept de secularisation PhD Thesis Université de la Sorbonne Paris 1973 pp. 93.

23

E. HarawiAwdat al-Jumhuriyya (Beirut: Dār al-Nahar1999) pp. 573.

24

A. BaydounTisaʿa tʿAshara Firqa Najiya: al-Lubnaniyun fī Marakat al-Zawaj al-Madanī (Beirut: Dār al-Nahar1999) p. 46. Fadlallah gained a reputation for being exceptionally liberal and open-minded when it comes to issues revolving around temporary marriage (zawāj al-mutʿa) or in-vitro fertilization as he pronounced children born from such unusual circumstances as enjoying a legitimate Sharʾī status prompting questions as to why children stemming from a regular mixed marriage should not deserve the same legal status rather than be branded illegitimate children.

29

F. Yeranian“Civil ‘I Do’s’ May Stay a ‘Don’t’ in Lebanon”Christian Science Monitor (6 May 1998): 7.

30

On 1 Nov 1997An-Nahār carried a letter signed by the Mufti of the Republic Qabbānī the Mufti of Mount Lebanon Muhammad ʿAlī Jūzū as well as the Mufti of Sidon Tripoli and the head of the Higher Sunni Sharīʿa courts Shafīq Yamūt amongst others.

38

Birzisupra note 28 p. 174.

44

Mughayzilsupra note 5 p. 118.

49

G. SalaamehAl-Mujtama wa l-dawla fī l-mashriq al-ʿArabī (Beirut: Center for Arab Unity Studies1987).

51

A. FarhatNahwa Dawla Almaniyya (Beirut: Dār al-Farabī2001) p. 143.

55

J. Chami“Religious Groups in Lebanon: A Descriptive Investigation”International Journal of Middle East Studies 4/11 (1980): 175-187.

56

Hashimsupra note 7.

60

On 5 December 1991for instance an appeals court in the Biqāʿ condemned an originally Orthodox man for polygamy after he converted to Islam in order to wed a second wife. Article 485 of the penal code prohibits polygamy for non-Muslims. A. Messara La gouvernance d’un système consensuel (Beirut: Libraire Orientale 2003) p. 258.

63

H. KhashshanInside the Lebanese Confessional Mind (Lanham: University of America Press1992).

64

S. SaadehThe Quest for Citizenship in Post Taef Lebanon (Beirut: Sade Publishing2007).

74

T. HanfCoexistence in Wartime Lebanon (London: Center for Lebanese Studies1993) pp. 515.

75

M. Farha“Global Gradations of Secularism”Comparative Sociology 11 (2012): 354-386.

77

Hanfsupra note 75 at 546.

80

A. Salam“Lebanon Is Living a Silent Revolution”Daily Star (Beirut: 14 May 2013).

81

D. Moawad“Lebanon’s First Civil Marriage Raises Hopes for Change”Al-Jazeera Online2 May 2013.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 18 18 1
Full Text Views 57 57 42
PDF Downloads 3 3 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0