The Life of the Law in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Beyond the esoteric deliberations of Islamic jurists and their exegesis of criminal and private law doctrines, Iranian law lives a life of its own. It is a life of routine practices of judges, court clerks, lawyers and clients, each of whom is striving to turn the law to their own advantage. It is also a life of contested legality, a relentless struggle over the right to determine the law in a juridical field which is infused with strife and hostility. These conflicts are reproduced daily as two competing conceptions of law, and their corresponding perceptions of legality clash in pursuit of justice. The Iranian judiciary’s concept of law, their reconstruction of Islamic jurisprudence and their methods of dispensing justice, which on the surface are reminiscent of Max Weber’s “qadi-justice,” collide with the legal profession’s formal rational understanding thereof. However, Iranian judges are not Weberian qadis, and the legal profession is not a homogenous group of attorneys driven by a collective commitment to the rule of law. To understand their conflict, we need to explore the mundane workings of the legal system in the context of the transformation of Iranian society and the unresolved disputes over the direction of its modernity.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society

Keywords

  • Law, Iran, Judiciary, Bar Association, Lawyers, legal profession, Female lawyers, Fiqh , Islamic Jurisprudence, Shari'a, Field theory, Doxa, Illusio , legal culture, Qadi, courts, Legal system, Sociology of Law, Family law, Socio-Legal Research, Habitus, legal practice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-746
Number of pages29
JournalIranian Studies
Volume51
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 26
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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2015/09/012018/08/31

Project: Research

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