JISPIL Vol 9 Issue 2 2013 - Book Review 1

An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning

by Erin Stiles, Palgrave/MacMillan, New York, 2009, ISBN 978-0-230-61740-7
Reviewed by J R Campbell

This study, which originally took the form of research for a PhD in cultural anthropology, was carried out in rural Zanzibar between 1999 and 2002. Stiles’ research relies upon participant observation, interviews, access to court records and, most importantly, access to a Kadhi’s court where she was able to make a record of the marital cases that came before the court. Stiles was also able speak to the Kadhi about cases, and about his work generally, and to court officials, litigants and some of the litigants witnesses.

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