Prof. Irene Schneider (University of Göttingen): Debating the Law, Creating Gender – Sharia and Lawmaking in Palestine, 2012-2018

Virtual book launch | Afternoon Talk on Islamic Law

  • Date: Oct 21, 2021
  • Time: 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)

In Palestine, like in most Middle Eastern countries, family law is a controversial topic publicly debated by various state and non-state actors. Yet to date no Palestinian family law exists. Instead, the Palestinian sharīʿa courts apply different Jordanian laws, Egyptian legislation, as well as regulations issued by the Palestinian sharīʿa court administration. This book explains why, to date, no Palestinian family law has been issued by analyzing “law in the making” and the shifts in debates (2012-2018). In 2012, a ruling on khulʿ divorce was issued by the sharīʿa court administration that enjoyed some popular support, but when the debate shifted in 2018 on how to “harmonize” Islamic and international law, the process abruptly ended. The book explains this sudden shift which can only be properly understood when taking the terminology used and redefined in these debates.

Irene Schneider will outline the main arguments of her book, followed by short input statements by Somoud Damiri, Randa Siniora, and Lynn Welchman, and a Q&A session. The book launch will be chaired by Dörthe Engelcke.


Prof. Irene Schneider
, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Göttingen

Somoud Damiri, Chief Prosecutor for personal status at the Sharia Court, Palestine, and judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Ramallah

Randa Siniora, General Director at the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in Jerusalem (WCLAC)

Prof. Lynn Welchman, Professor of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Dr. Dörthe Engelcke
, Senior Research Fellow in the Research Group on Family and Succession Law in Islamic Countries, Max Planck Institute Hamburg

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