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Filling the Void: Sharīʿa in Mixed Courts in Egypt: Jurisprudence (1876-1949)

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Abstract Mixed courts were an internationally staffed bench that represented the diplomatic alliances between capitulary powers and the Egyptian government. Decisions delivered by these courts were based on the so-called “mixed codes,” which provided parties to a dispute with substantial scope for legal maneuvering. On the basis of a case study concerning a mortgage on a waqf (charitable endowment), I shall explain how legal actors, in spite of the state strong presence as regulatory agent, took advantage of the loopholes in the mixed-court system. Far from being an obstacle in the quest of justice, legal vagueness became an opportunity for anyone able to expand his own legal horizons beyond the limits imposed by the colonial rule.


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