ML 418 – Comparative law and legal systems



The first part of this module seeks to introduce the key concepts in exploring the comparative approach:
 Basic comparative method and theory
 Three families of Law: Civil, Common and Religious
 Defining Law and illustrating its function and development
 Characteristics of the legal basis
 Sections and branches of law
 Non-official sources
 Practicing law and principles governing it
 Defining right and illustrating its types
 Legal protection of right

The second part of the module aims at focusing on applications of Comparative law with examples from Islamic family law and Islamic commercial law:
 Husband and Wife
 Parents and Children
 Property
 Banking
 Law Reform in the Muslim World
 Application of Islamic Law in diasporic communities

The final part of the module aims at focusing on discussion groups that meet on at least six occasions in order to practice team work, learning from others, and collaborate on comparative approaches. It would encourage students to develop their ideas through research and preparation leading to a research based essay that is presented to the group.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

All learning materials are developed according to the SCATE format. Students are advised to study units available online followed by timetabled activities which are of crucial importance and require a serious attention. Students need to consult suggested reading materials which are not necessarily available online. At the same time, students are expected to contribute to Discussion Group as an integral part of their study. They would receive feedback regarding their activities and contribution by the module tutor. Extra reading and activities are provided for students who are interested to have a deeper and broader understanding of the issues of concern.
Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment for this module will consist of written feedback from the lecturer, questioning and discussion through the online forums. One draft of the students’ final essay (coursework) may be handed in to the lecturer at the 12th learning week for formative assessment, in which the lecturer will give the student feedback on how to improve their research and quality of writing.
Summative Assessment:
Students are required to submit 2 out of 5 Review Questions (RQ) and 2 out of 5 Activities (Act) as the weekly assignments for each module during the semester. All of these assignments as well as students’ final essays at the end of the semester will be commented and marked by tutors. Students can see those comments and marks in their drop box which are available in their D2L accounts. Finally, students are required to submit an Individual coursework -final essay (4000 words) on a relevant topic approved in advance by the module tutor.

Assessment Weighting
Activities: 30%
Review Questions & Discussion Group: 10%
Final Essay (Coursework): 60%
Students should get at least a pass mark for all three above components.

Learning materials

Core readings
An-Naim, A.A. (ed.,) (2002) Islamic Family Law in a Changing World, UK: Zed Books
De Cruz, P (1999) Comparative Law in a Changing World, UK: Routledge
Ezzati, A.F. (Trans.) (2008) Concise Description of Islamic Law and Legal Opinions. UK: ICAS Press.
Kamali, H. (1989) Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. Cambridge: The Islamic Text Society.
Khan, M.A. (1996) Islamic jurisprudence: Islamic laws in the modern world. UK: Avon Books
Kotz, H. (2008) An Introduction to Comparative Law: The framework: V1 of An Introduction to Comparative Law. US: University of California
K. Zweigert & H. Kötz, An Introduction to Comparative Law 3rd ed. Oxford 1998.
Otto, J.M, (2010) Sharia Incorporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present. Amsterdam University Press
Menski, W. (2006) Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa. UK: Cambridge University Press
Riles, A. (2001) Rethinking the masters of comparative law. UK: Hart Publishing
Sadr, M.B. (2003) Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, UK: ICAS Press.
Stewart, D.J. (1998) Islamic Legal Orthodoxy: Twelver Shi’ite Responses to the Sunni Legal System. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.