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Prisons in the Late Ottoman EmpireMicrocosms of Modernity$
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Kent F. Schull

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748641734

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641734.001.0001

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Ottoman Criminal Justice and the Transformation of Islamic Criminal Law and Punishment in the Age of Modernity, 1839–1922

Ottoman Criminal Justice and the Transformation of Islamic Criminal Law and Punishment in the Age of Modernity, 1839–1922

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Ottoman Criminal Justice and the Transformation of Islamic Criminal Law and Punishment in the Age of Modernity, 1839–1922
Source:
Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire
Author(s):

Kent F. Schull

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641734.003.0002

Chapter One provides a brief overview of the early modern Ottoman legal system and its transformation during the long nineteenth century with special emphasis on the creation of a comprehensive criminal justice system including policing and surveillance, new courts, penal codes, and prisons. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the relationship between prisons and the transformation of Ottoman criminal justice, especially the links between the Imperial Ottoman Penal Code and incarceration. This transformation was fully rooted in past legal practices while also appropriating and adapting new legal policies from abroad. This process of transformation does not represent an Ottoman progressive march towards Westernisation and secularisation, but one that consciously reinterpreted its Islamic legal system and transformed it through the application of modern methods of governance, such as legal codification, administrative centralisation, the rationalisation and standardisation of legal practice, and the utilisation of incarceration as the primary form of punishment for criminal behaviour.

Keywords:   crime and punishment, Imperial Ottoman Penal Code, Islamic criminal law, criminal justice

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