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The Expert Witness in Islamic CourtsMedicine and Crafts in the Service of Law$
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Ron Shaham

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226749334

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226749358.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The Right Hand of Qadis: Male Experts in Judicial Practice

The Right Hand of Qadis: Male Experts in Judicial Practice

Chapter:
(p.56) Chapter Two The Right Hand of Qadis: Male Experts in Judicial Practice
Source:
The Expert Witness in Islamic Courts
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226749358.003.0003

This article focuses on two specific groups of male experts for whom the richness of information is larger than for other expert witnesses: experts in the human body (and also on animal anatomy), such as physicians, veterinarians, and slave dealers; and construction experts, such as builders and architects. Lawrence Rosen proposed a comparative paradigm of indirect political control of fact-finding in common-law systems versus direct control in civil-law ones. Drawing on this paradigm, this article discusses the qualifications required by the qadis of expert witnesses, how they were selected by the qadi, whether experts function as the advisers of the judge or as partisan witnesses, the procedural options developed by the court for using experts, and how judges address the problem of contradictory expert opinions. It shows that the use of expert testimony was common in premodern Islamic legal systems.

Keywords:   male experts, expert witnesses, architects, physicians, Lawrence Rosen, fact-finding, qadis, expert testimony, Islamic legal systems

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