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Law and Long-Term Economic ChangeA Eurasian Perspective$
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Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772730

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.001.0001

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Islamic Legal Institutions of Contracts and Courts

Islamic Legal Institutions of Contracts and Courts

A Comparative Perspective

(p.178) Chapter Nine Islamic Legal Institutions of Contracts and Courts
Law and Long-Term Economic Change
Toru Miura
Stanford University Press

This chapter argues that ownership patterns in Islamic law were highly individualistic and marked by the absence of the European concept of legal person and incorporation. It partly attributes the absence of “legal person and incorporation” in Islamic law to the fact that the individualistic nature of property law in Muslim society is inconsistent with the “collectivistic” nature of the corporation, in which a group of individuals pool their resources. This chapter also discusses in detail the nature of legal decisions and their enforcement in Islamic courts. Legal decisions relied on the oral testimonials of witnesses. As trials were often performed openly in the presence of all parties, social reputation and community pressure remained as important mechanisms both to mitigate the sometimes widely alleged false testimonials and to help ensure subsequent compliance with legal decisions by the parties involved.

Keywords:   Islamic law, ownership patterns, Islamic legal decisions, legal person

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