Sardar Ali, Shaheen

Research Project
International Human Rights Law, Women’s Human Rights and Muslim State Practice: A Case Study of Pakistan’s Implementation of CEDAW

My research project at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg (October-December 2011) focuses on an investigation of Muslim state practice with regard to international human rights law in general and women’s human rights (as enunciated in CEDAW1), in particular. Through a case study of the implementation of CEDAW in Pakistan at state, governmental and societal levels, it attempts to argue that Muslim state practice (as part of Siyar or Islamic international law), is responsive to contemporary developments and not necessarily informed completely by doctrinal Sharia‘. This research is part of a wider book project on Modern Challenges to Islamic Law and proposes to address the following issues: What informs Muslim state practice when acceding to international human rights instruments such as CEDAW? Is this discourse and deliberations different to those underlying commercial and other treaties and agreements, both bi-lateral and multi-lateral? To what extent is Muslim state practice a continuum of Siyar or Islamic international law as understood by classical Islamic law? Where are the ruptures and continuity? What are the indicators within state and society of acceptance and ownership of women’s human rights, in particular CEDAW?

Selected Publications

Ali, S. S. 2010. Cyberspace as Emerging Muslim Discursive Space? Online fatawa on women and gender relations and its impact on Muslim family law norms. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 24(3): pp. 338-360.

Ali, S. S. 2009. Resurrecting Siyar through Fatwas? (Re) Constructing Islamic International Law in a Post (Iraq) Invasion World. 14 Journal of Conflict and Security Law, pp. 115-144.

Ali, S. S. 2007. «A Comparative Perspective of the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child and the Principles of Islamic Law. Law Reform and Children’s Rights in Muslim Jurisdictions» in: S. Goonasekere (ed.): Protecting the World’s Children: Impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Diverse Legal Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 142-208.

Ali, S. S. 2005. The Concept of Jihad in Islamic International Law. Journal of Peace and Security Law 10(3): pp. 321-343. (Co-authored with J. Rehman).

Ali, S. S. 2000. Gender and Human Rights in Islam and International Law. Equal before Allah, Unequal before Man? The Hague [u.a.]: Kluwer Law International.