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Beiträge zum Islamischen Recht XI

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Edited By Irene Schneider and Thoralf Hanstein

Der Band enthält die auf der Jahrestagung der «Gesellschaft für Arabisches und Islamisches Recht» (GAIR) im Oktober 2015 an der Universität Göttingen gehaltenen Vorträge. Thema der Tagung war «Genderforschung und Genderfragen im islamischen Recht». Die Vorträge werden ergänzt um zwei weitere, themenrelevante Fachbeiträge. Die Autoren gehen in den Beiträgen zum einen der Frage nach, welche Rolle und Bedeutung die Geschlechterforschung im Recht hat. Zum anderen wird anhand empirischer Beispiele die Geschlechterstellung im deutschen Recht und im islamischen Recht – in Deutschland und in der muslimischen Welt – definiert und diskutiert.

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Gender, Islam and Family Law in Europe:The broken promises of human rights

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Marie-Claire Foblets, Halle (Saale)

Gender, Islam and Family Law in Europe: The broken promises of human rights

Introduction

What this paper submits to discussion likely sounds somewhat familiar to readers well versed in the literature on family law and Islam in Europe and in the latest developments as regards the recourse to human rights in this area. The purpose here is not so much to offer highly innovative findings, but to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the consequences of the interplay between Islam, family law and human rights that I have come across through my own readings, observations and research these past few years.

I have given my paper the subtitle ‘broken promises’. What do I mean by this? In a nutshell, human rights instruments of protection in Europe are commonly seen as offering an appropriate standard that can improve in concreto the position and/or living conditions of people. These instruments are expected to do so regardless of a person’s gender, citizenship or faith, to name but a few characteristics. However, with the exception of the prohibition against inhuman or degrading treatment1, human rights remain relative rather than absolute. Therefore, most invocations of the human rights criteria of protection need, in practice, to be balanced against other interests. I venture to speak of the ‘broken promises’ of human rights after having observed, over many years of studying the case law of various European countries in the field of private...

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