FAMILY LAW IN THE ARAB GULF: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND REFORM PATTERNS
In this article, I assess recent developments in the family law of Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. Based on a presentation of selected areas of substantive law, the article focuses on reform patterns in family law. I outline how, in the process of initially codifying family law, the three Arab Gulf States faced a variety of ‘model’ codes in the Muslim world, and I consider the impact that such a comparative approach had on the statutory rules currently in force. In addition, the degree to which both governmental and non-governmental actors influenced the codification process is explored. As the introduction of the new family codes coincided with the three states’ ratifications of major human rights treaties in general, and CEDAW in particular, I also discuss the interplay of international human rights and national family law in the Arab Gulf.