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The Creation of Shariat Courts

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Chapter Summary

Zia-ul-Haq used his unfettered powers as a military dictator to initiate a radical programme of Islamisation. This chapter demonstrates that the creation of the Federal Shariat Court radically transformed the legal system of Pakistan: for the first time in Pakistan's legal history a court was enjoined to examine substantial parts of the legal system on the basis of Islam. The Federal Shariat Court also acted as a court of appeal for decisions involving the Hudood Ordinances. An important part in the implementation of the Hudood Ordinances was the creation of separate courts enjoined with the task of interpreting and applying the new Islamic criminal laws. The first attempt to achieve this emerged in the form of the Shariat Benches of Superior Courts Order 1978.

Keywords: federal shariat court; Hudood ordinances; Islamic criminal laws; Pakistan's legal history; shariat benches



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