Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
The narrowness of Muslim personal law: practices of legal harmonization in a Delhi family court
The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-09-01, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2020.1840770
Catherine Larouche, Katherine Lemons

Abstract Postcolonial Indian politics have been punctuated by major debates about Muslim personal law: the law and case precedent that applies to Muslims in matters of marriage, divorce, adoption, succession, and inheritance. These debates ask whether gender equality for members of all religious communities can be achieved in a religiously differentiated legal system. While some argue that a uniform civil code would be the critical mechanism to protect women’s rights, we suggest that Muslim personal law in fact plays a marginal role in family courts, where shared statutes already hold a much more significant place. Based on a mixed-methods analysis of cases from a New Delhi Family court, we demonstrate that Muslim women almost exclusively file cases under common, non-religious laws, and that the few cases filed specifically under Muslim personal law are often adjudicated on the basis of a combination of laws rather than on Muslim law alone. Yet, our findings also confirm that Muslims are only marginally present in state courts, and mostly use other means to adjudicate family disputes. This situation pushes against the idea that the “harmonization” of religious personal laws is sufficient to understand the legal complexities confronting minority women.