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Ṣulḥ: Arbitration in the Arab–Islamic World

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image of Arab Law Quarterly

Ṣulḥ, the basis of dispute resolution in the Arab world, is governed not only by rules of law and legal process. Relational factors and the notion of collective interests such as family, tribe, community, country, religion, and race, also come into play. Harmony within the culture is perceived as a duty on its members, including third-party interveners: i.e., a judge, arbitrator, or conciliator. For this reason, regional implementation of alternative dispute resolution techniques should take into consideration collective interests as well as ṣulḥ as core of the Islamic system in order to resolve the dispute while maintaining familial, religious, and community ties. This article discusses the history of ṣulḥ, its foundations and implementation within the Arab–Islamic region. The conclusion will draw a distinction between the Arab view of ṣulḥ versus alternative dispute resolution in the West.

Affiliations: 1: Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine UniversityMalibu,


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