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The Constitutional Appeal of Shari'a in a Modernizing Saudi State

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In 2007 and in a drive to modernize its legal system, Saudi Arabia promulgated the new Law of the Judiciary which aims at beginning a process of codifying Shar'ia Law, unifying the Saudi Court System and making the administration of state legislation a function of the reluctant Shar'ia courts. This project, however, entails revisiting traditional Shari's legal principals heretofore held sacrosanct and presumes to redraw the contours of legitimate state power while simultaneously limiting the constraining role of Shar'ia. As such, the new Law of the Judiciary constitutes a major challenge to the Saudi Shar"a establishment and its implementation, or lack thereof, shall reflect on the extent the Saudi constitutional landscape has evolved.


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