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Islamic Law and Empire in Ottoman Cairo$
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James E. Baldwin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403092

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403092.001.0001

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Cairo’s legal system: institutions and actors

Cairo’s legal system: institutions and actors

(p.33) Chapter 2 Cairo’s legal system: institutions and actors
Islamic Law and Empire in Ottoman Cairo

James E. Baldwin

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 2 gives an overview of the various institutions, actors and practices that made up Ottoman Cairo’s legal system. It discusses the sharīʿa courts, the Ottoman governor’s tribunal (al-Dīwān al-ʿĀlī), the Imperial Council (Dīvān-i Hümāyūn), the market inspector (muḥtasib), Janissary Āghā and associated officials, policing and punishments, Christian and Jewish courts, and the practice of mediation (ṣulḥ). The chapter portrays Cairo’s legal system as a complex network of overlapping forums and practices, in which jurisdictional boundaries were often obscure, and which offered litigants the ability to choose.

Keywords:   Sharīʿa courts, Al-Dīwān al-ʿĀlī (Ottoman governor’s tribunal), Dīvān-i Hümāyūn (Imperial Council), Petitions, Muḥtasib, Janissary Āghā, Punishment, Minority courts, Ṣulḥ (mediation), Legal pluralism

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