Jessica M. Marglin

Extraterritoriality Meets Islamic Law: Legal Pluralism and Elements of Proof in the International Mixed Court of Morocco, 1871-1872

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Morocco; Law; Extraterritoriality; Legal Pluralism; Mixed Courts.

This article is a case study of the short-lived international mixed court in Morocco (1871-1872); focusing on the regimes of proof employed in that court, the article examines the encounter between extraterritoriality and Islamic law in the Mediterranean. The evidence presented to the Moroccan mixed court was an amalgam of forms; some creditors presented informal contracts which might have held up according to European and North American standards of evidence, but were null and void according to Islamic law as it was practiced in Morocco. Although the court failed, it influenced the ways in which both diplomats and Muslim judicial officials approached elements of proof in their respective institutions. Rather than merely identifying the pluralism of the Moroccan legal system in the late nineteenth century, this study focuses on the mutual influence exerted by coexisting legal orders on one another and the outcomes of this interaction.

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