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The Relationship between Shariat Courts and High Corts

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Chapter Summary

The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 caused jurisdictional debates, not only in connection with the judicial review powers of the shariat courts but also in the context of criminal proceedings. This chapter shows that the competing jurisdictions of civil and criminal courts in the determination of the validity of a marriage have continued until the present. The gradual demise of the Federal Shariat Court in the late 1990s was matched by an increased interest in cases involving the Hudood Ordinances by the High Courts. Initially, these Hudood cases came before the High Courts as writ petitions under Article 199 of the 1973 Constitution. The basis of the judgment was provided by Islamic law, more specifically the Islamic concept of privacy. The Federal Shariat Court proceeded to view the validity of marriages and divorces from a 'practical' point of view, dispensing with the requirements of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.

Keywords: federal shariat court; high courts; Hudood ordinances; Muslim family law



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