The Sharī‘a and Islamic Criminal Justice in Time of war and Peace By M. Cherif Bassiouni (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 405 pages.)

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Mourad Laabdi



Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni is a distinguished human rights advocate with an
astounding career and publication record that exceeds seventy books (authored
and edited) and 260 articles. The Sharī‘a and Islamic Criminal Justice is yet
another rigorous contribution that should enrich and broaden the scope of the
criminal law debate in the Islamic legal system and its relevance to international
humanitarian law. The significance of this work lies especially in the
Book Reviews 107
author’s sincere endeavor to derive appropriate tools from Islamic law to address
contemporary issues of post-conflict and transitional justice.
The first chapter, an introductory review of key conceptual constructs and
historical developments, examines various topics from the evolution of Islamic
legal theory and the Sunni and Shi‘i schools of law to the resurgence of Islamic
thought during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In regard to Islamic law’s
historical pertinence to issues related to war and peace, the author elaborates
especially on two categories: dār al-ḥarb (the house of war) and dār al-silm
(the house of peace). Finally, he illustrates four types of treaties: those of peace
(salām), truce (hudnah), protection (dhimmah), and safe conduct (amān) ...

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