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Recording Procedures and Legal Culture In the Late Ottoman Shari'a Court Of Jaffa, 1865-1890

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In the 1870s, a new procedure for recording cases in the shari'a courts was officially introduced by the Ottoman judicial administration. In this essay I explore the implementation of this innovation in the Jaffa court between the years 1865 and 1890. My sources include the Jaffa court records and the Ottoman regulations that specify the instructions about the new recording procedure. I argue that the court of Jaffa was a site of ongoing changes that were part of its legal culture. The judges and court scribes were regularly involved in creating new recording practices through trial and error. Thus, legal reform, from the perspective of the Jaffa court, was not the exclusive domain of the imperial center. The local court played an active role in it.


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