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The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan from 1947 to 1977

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Chapter Summary

Attempts to introduce Islamic norms into a legal system can take two basic forms. There can either be a complete legal revolution, i.e. a complete removal of the old legal order and its replacement with an Islamic legal system. The declaration of martial law and the introduction of a wide range of legal measures aimed at introducing Islamic law into the legal system in 1977 following the coup d'état of General Zia-ul-Haq marked the beginning of the first serious attempt by a government to Islamise the legal system of Pakistan. The resurrection of the basic structure doctrine in the form of Islam was a useful tool to impose limitations on the doctrine of necessity. Reliance on Islamic law also enabled judges to formulate new principles of constitutional law that were to exist independently from any written legal source, and were not based on principles of English common law.

Keywords: constitutional law; English common law; Islamic legal system; martial law; Pakistan; Zia-ul-Haq



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