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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 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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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, Grietje 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.

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Grégor Puppinck

To which extent is it legitimate, in view of freedom of conscience and religion, to sanction individuals for refusing to take part in an activity they claim to be incompatible with their moral or religious convictions? To answer this question, this study first clarifies some of the concepts of conscientious objection. Then it examines the case law of international bodies and draws distinctions in order to differentiate several types of objections, hence identifying the evaluation criteria applicable to the respect that each one deserves. Finally, this study proposes indications as to the rights and obligations of the State in front of those different types of objections.

Marxism and Criminology

A History of Criminal Selectivity

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Valeria Vegh Weis

Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In Marxism and Criminology: A History of Criminal Selectivity, Valeria Vegh Weis rehabilitates the contributions and the methodology of Marx and Engels to analyze crime and punishment through the historical development of capitalism (15th Century to the present) in Europe and in the United States. The author puts forward the concepts of over-criminalization and under-criminalization to show that the criminal justice system has always been selective. Criminal injustice, the book argues, has been an inherent element of the founding and reproduction of a capitalist society. At a time when racial profiling, prosecutorial discretion, and mass incarceration continue to defy easy answers, Vegh Weis invites us to revisit Marx and Engels’ contributions to identify socio-economic and historic patterns of crime and punishment in order to foster transformative changes to criminal justice. The book includes a Foreword by Professor Roger Matthews of Kent University, and an Afterword written by Professor Jonathan Simon of the University of California, Berkeley.

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Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi