ANR Programme 2009-2013
image of courtroom
A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Feb.10th, 2011, Jeff Redding: The Case of Ayesha in a Delhi Muslim Court: Some Ethnographic Reflections on Rule of Law Theory

Jeff Redding, Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law - Saint Louis, USA, is currently staying in Paris with the Just-India programme till July 2011 and is affiliated to the Centre for Himalayan Studies (UPR 299). He presented on February 10th a communication where he highlighted the ways in which rule of law ideology has tended to obscure mechanics of law, whether inside or outside the state. Using an ethnographic case-study of an Indian Muslim woman, 'Ayesha,' who self-consciously chose to use a non-state ‘court’ to exercise her divorce rights under Indian Islamic law, he highlighted what traditional rule of law ideologues miss, namely that law rules outside of the courtroom quite frequently and adequately, and that ‘the rule of courts’ is far less coherent or systematic - or a high art - than commonly described by legal theorists.

Go to his page in the programme