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Visions of Sharīʿa

Contemporary Discussions in Shī ͑ī Legal Theory

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Edited by Ali-reza Bhojani, Laurens de Rooij and Michael Bohlander

In Visions of>/i> Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of Sharīʿa.

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Hylkje de Jong

In Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken Hylkje de Jong deals with the way the Byzantine jurists of the early period (6th and early 7th century) and later period (11th and 12th century) dealt with the law of mandate as they found this in respectively Justinian’s compilation and in the 9th century Basilica. Commonly characterised as consistent Byzantine dogmatics, the remarks of these Byzantine jurists appear to be in reality individual approaches, coloured by each jurist’s own methodology of interpreting.

Based upon the Basilica texts, the law of mandate is set out thematically: the mandate’s object, the liability of parties, actions, remunerations. De Jong proves convincingly that the Byzantine remarks provide a better understanding of Justinian Roman law.



In der Studie Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken beschäftigt sich Hylkje de Jong mit der Art und Weise, wie sich die byzantinischen Juristen des 6. und frühen 7. aber auch des 11. und 12. Jahrhunderts mit dem Auftragsrechts befassten, das sie in Justinians Kompilation bzw. in den Basiliken des 9. Jahrhunderts fanden. Die Äußerungen dieser byzantinischen Juristen werden in der Regel als einheitliche byzantinische Rechtslehre aufgefasst, erweisen sich aber in Wirklichkeit als individuelle Ansätze, die von der Methodik des jeweiligen Juristen geprägt und gefärbt sind.

Basierend auf den Basilikentexten wird das Auftragsrecht thematisch dargestellt: Gegenstand des Mandats, Haftung der Parteien, Klagen, Vergütungen etc. Überzeugend weist De Jong nach, dass die byzantinischen Darlegungen ein besseres Verständnis des römischen Rechts von Justinian vermitteln.

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Edited by Simone Zurbuchen

The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800 offers innovative studies on the development of the law of nations after the Peace of Westphalia. This period was decisive for the origin and constitution of the discipline which eventually emancipated itself from natural law and became modern international law.

A specialist on the law of nations in the Swiss context and on its major figure, Emer de Vattel, Simone Zurbuchen prompted scholars to explore the law of nations in various European contexts. The volume studies little known literature related to the law of nations as an academic discipline, offers novel interpretations of classics in the field, and deconstructs ‘myths’ associated with the law of nations in the Enlightenment.

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Edited by Peter Langford, Ian Bryan and John McGarry

Hans Kelsen and the Natural Law Tradition provides the first sustained examination of Hans Kelsen’s critical engagement, itself founded upon a distinctive theory of legal positivism, with the Natural Law Tradition. This edited collection commences with a comprehensive introduction which establishes the character of Kelsen’s critical engagement as a general critique of natural law combined with a more specific critique of representative thinkers of the Natural Law Tradition. The subsequent chapters are then devoted to a detailed analysis of Kelsen’s engagement with prominent theorists from the Natural Law Tradition. The volume concludes with an exploration, focusing upon the delineation of a non-positivist legal theory in the debate between Robert Alexy and Joseph Raz, of the continued presence of Kelsenian legal positivism in contemporary legal theory.

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism

A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy

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Grietje Baars

In The Corporation, Law and Capitalism, Baars offers a radical Marxist perspective on the role of law in the global political economy. Closing a major gap in historical-materialist scholarship, they demonstrate how the corporation, capitalism’s main engine from city-state and colonial times to the present multinational, is a masterpiece of legal technology. The symbiosis between law and capital becomes acutely apparent in the question of ‘corporate accountability’. Baars provides a detailed analysis of corporate human rights and war crimes trials, from the Nuremberg industrialists’ trials to current efforts. The book shows that precisely because of law’s relationship to capital, law cannot prevent or remedy the ‘externalities’ produced by corporate capitalism. This realisation will generate the space required to formulate a different answer to ‘the question of the corporation’, and to global corporate capitalism more broadly, outside of the law.

Justice Blindfolded

The Historical Course of an Image

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Adriano Prosperi

Justice Blindfolded gives an overview of the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries. Justice has been portrayed as a woman with scales, or holding a sword, or, since the fifteenth century, with her eyes bandaged. This last symbol contains the idea that justice is both impartial and blind, reminding indirectly of the bandaged Christ on the cross, a central figure in the Christian idea of fairness and forgiveness.
In this rich and imaginative journey through history and philosophy, Prosperi manages to convey a full account of the ways justice has been described, portrayed and imagined.

Translation of Giustizia bendata. Percorsi storici di un'immagine (Einaudi, 2008).

Right, Power, and Faquanism

A Practical Legal Theory from Contemporary China

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Zhiwei Tong

In Right, Power, and Faquanism, Tong Zhiwei proposes that right and power are ultimately a unified entity which can be named “faquan,” and that the purpose of law should be to establish a balanced faquan structure and to promote its preservation and proliferation. “Faquan” is thus a jurisprudential category reflecting the understanding of the unity of right and power. It has interest protected by the law and property with defined ownership as its content, and manifests itself as the external forms of jural right, freedom, liberty, jural power, public function, authority, competence, privilege, and immunity, etc. Faquanism relies mainly on six basic concepts (faquan, right, power, quan, residual quan and duty) to analyze the content of interests and property in all legal phenomena.

Complex Equality and the Court of Justice of the European Union

Reconciling Diversity and Harmonization

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Richard Lang

The equality jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union has long drawn criticism for its almost total reliance on Aristotle’s doctrine that likes should be treated like, and unlikes unlike. As has often been shown, this is a blunt tool, entrenching assumptions and promoting difference-blindness: the symptoms of simplicity. In this book, Richard Lang proposes that the EU’s judges complement the Aristotelian test with a new one based on Michael Walzer’s theory of Complex Equality, and illustrates how analysing allegedly discriminatory acts, not in terms of comparisons of the actors involved, but rather in terms of distributions and meanings of goods, would enable them to reach decisions with new dexterity and to resolve conflicts without sacrificing diversity.

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Edited by Gaetano Pentassuglia

What is the role of ethno-cultural groups in human rights discourse? Under international human rights law, standards are unclear and ambivalent, while traditional analyses have often failed to elucidate and unpack the conceptual, legal, and policy complexities involved. In Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights, prominent experts chart new territory by addressing contested dimensions of the field. They include the impact of collective interests on rights discourse and nation-building, international law’s responses to group demands for decision-making authority, and concerns for immigration, intersectionality, and peacebuilding. Drawing from diverse scholarship in international law, legal and moral philosophy, and political science, this volume will be essential reading for scholars and practitioners of human rights, diversity, and conflict management.

Criminal Sentencing in Bangladesh

From Colonial Legacies to Modernity

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Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman

In Criminal Sentencing in Bangladesh, Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman critically examines the sentencing policies of Bangladesh and demonstrates that the country’s sentencing policies are not only yet to be developed in a coherent manner and shaped with an appropriate and contextual balance, but also remain part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The author forcefully argues that the conception of ‘sentencing policies’ cannot and should not always be confined exclusively to institutional understandings. The typical realities of post-colonial societies call for rethinking the traditional judiciary-centred understanding of what is meant by criminal sentences. This book thus raises the question for theoretical sentencing scholarship whether the prevailing judiciary-centred understanding of sentencing should be rethought.