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Islam and Constitutions: The Law and Politics of Sharia Provisions

Islam and Constitutions: The Law and Politics of Sharia Provisions

Date and time: Sat, 7 Nov 2020 13:30 – Sat, 21 Nov 2020 16:30 Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0)

Tickets (General Admission £75; Students and alumni £45) here.

Introducing the foundations of constitutional law, the articulations of contemporary state-Islam relations and models of sharia provision.

Why all the hype about Islam when drafting a constitution? Why are constitutions so central, to begin with? And what is the politics around references to Islam in them? What are, in particular, the sharia provisions, and how do they work?

This online course introduces participants to the conceptual foundations of constitutional law, the articulations of state-Islam relations in contemporary constitutions, and the various models of sharia provisions in a comparative perspective. Sharia provisions, in particular, are considered both in terms of their wording and the overall design. A close up on the politics of sharia provisions will provide a useful case study. The course also provides practical training in handling constitutional provisions on sharia in different jurisdictions through the direct involvement of participants in class activities.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To understand the centrality of the constitution in the debate on State-Islam relations;
  • To identify the various models of constitutional provisions on sharia;
  • To apply the various models of sharia provisions to new cases;
  • To analyse both their wording and the overall design;
  • To evaluate the combined functioning of wording and design in various jurisdictions.

Professor Gianluca Parolin is a comparative constitutional lawyer of the Middle East. Before joining the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilsations in London, he taught constitutional law in Cairo, both at Cairo University and at the American University (2008-2015). He has extensively written on constitutions and sharia, developing an approach that looks beyond the conventional hermeneutics of the provisions to consider the overall constitutional design, which in turn mirrors the broader trajectories of the modern legal systems in the region.

The course will run online on three consecutive Saturdays: 7th, 14th, 21st November 2020 from 13:30-16:30 on each occasion. Zoom log in and reading lists will be shared in advance.

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