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Nineteenth-Century Legal Reform in the Ottoman Empire and Egypt

Seminar Questions:

  • What was the place of legal reform within the wider Tanzimat reform program?
  • Can we identify Islamic law and secular law as two distinct categories?

Assigned Reading:
Zubaida, chapter 4.
Avi Rubin, Ottoman Nizamiye Courts: Law and Modernity. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), chapter 1, “The Nizamiye Court System: An Overview,” and chapter 5, “The Age of Centralization: The Public Prosecution.”
Khaled Fahmy, “The Anatomy of Justice: Forensic Medicine and Criminal Law in Nineteenth-Century Egypt,” Islamic Law and Society 6 (1999), 224-71.

Primary Sources:
Hatt-i Şerif and the Islahat Fermanı, trans. in James Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Further Reading:
Şerif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought: A Study in the Modernization of Turkish Political Ideas (Princeton University Press, 1962).
Rudolph Peters, “Administrators and Magistrates: The Development of a Secular Judiciary in Egypt, 1842-1871,” Die Welt des Islams n.s. 39 (1999), 378-97.
Kent Schull, Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire: Microcosms of Modernity (Edinburgh UP, 2014).
June Starr, Law as Metaphor: from Islamic Courts to the Palace of Justice (State University of New York Press, 1992).