The Sharia and Islamic Criminal Justice in Time of War and Peace
By Prof. Ilias Bantekas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp 287+ appendices
Reviewed by M Cherif Bassiouni
My first reaction to this book was “how does he do it”? Professor Bassiouni is not only universally acclaimed as the father of international criminal law but he is probably the most prolific legal scholar I am aware of. This is not just another book on Islamic law, just another attempt to explain why Islam is compatible with international norms, nor just another book on the periphery of international criminal law. It is much more than all of these taken together. The first chapter, by way of illustration, is probably the best critical introduction I have ever read to Islamic law. If someone were to purchase this book just as an introduction to Islamic law and its sources (an in-depth analysis) it would be worth spending one’s money for just chapter 1. The book overall makes significant inroads in explaining the origins of Islamic concepts in criminal law, criminal justice, international criminal relations, including humanitarian law, and their relation as well as compatibility with relevant concepts in international law.