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The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent not-for-profit institution that aims to promote an understanding of the role of law in society. We identify and analyse issues of contemporary interest and importance, disseminating the insights of decision-makers and experts to a global audience through our extensive online resource of free-to-download Policy Briefings, Opinion Pieces, and multimedia podcasts.

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Islamic Law in an Islamic Republic: What Role Parliament?

Matthew Nelson
Publication date: 
Wed, 10 Jun 2015

For nearly seventy years, Pakistan has wrestled with the constitutional relationship between Islamic law and parliamentary power, developing some of the most sophisticated thinking on these issues.
In this policy brief, Matthew Nelson, Reader in Politics at SOAS, presents a deeper understanding of competing constitutional approaches to the relationship between Islamic law and parliamentary power in Pakistan, in order to shed light on the relationship between Islam and democracy more generally.
He finds that, contrary to popular belief, Islamic law poses few constraints on the legislative powers of government in Pakistan, and as such, it offers lessons for a successful negotiation of the relationship between Islamic law and parliamentary power within Muslim democracies.