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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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Royal justice: The Dīvān-i Hümāyūn and the Dīwān al-ʿĀlī

Royal justice: The Dīvān-i Hümāyūn and the Dīwān al-ʿĀlī

(p.55) Chapter 3 Royal justice: The Dīvān-i Hümāyūn and the Dīwān al-ʿĀlī
Islamic Law and Empire in Ottoman Cairo

James E. Baldwin

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 3 examines in detail two institutions which represented the direct involvement of the empire’s executive authorities in the mundane administration of justice: the Dīvān-i Hümāyūn (Imperial Council) and the Dīwān al-ʿĀlī (Ottoman governor’s tribunal). The chapter demonstrates considerable overlap in the jurisdictions and caseloads of these institutions and the sharīʿa courts. It then seeks to understand the relationship between these institutions by focusing on the role of particular officials within them. In particular, it explores the role of the qāḍī, arguing that the qāḍī’s essential role was the determination of facts through the application of procedure, and that he performed this role within or on behalf of all of these institutions. Rather than representing an alternative form of justice, in line with some theories of maẓālim and siyāsa, the Dīvān-i Hümāyūn and the Dīwān al-ʿĀlī shared the same essential attitude towards evidence and proof as the sharīʿa courts.

Keywords:   Dīvān-i Hümāyūn (Imperial Council), Al-Dīwān al-ʿĀlī (Ottoman governor’s tribunal), Sharīʿa courts, Qāḍī, Maẓālim, Siyāsa, Procedure, Petitions, Legal pluralism

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