Judicial Islamisation of Land Reforms Laws in Pakistan: Triumph of Legal Realism
The Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SAB) declared the land reforms laws as un-Islamic in the Qazalbash Waqf case in 1990. In this judgment, while ‘ulama’ judges unanimously rejected state intervention in limiting property rights because of the sanctity of private ownership under Islam, a majority of other judges justified the exercise of such power in public interest. Interestingly, both the proponents and the opponents of land reforms laws relied upon the Qur’an and sunnah to support their positions. In the end, these were the judges of the SAB who acted as the final arbiters in determining which particular interpretation of Islamic law prevails.Keywords
Islamic state, land reforms, private property, necessity, public good, legislature, judiciary, ‘ulama’.
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