Iraqi constitution, Islamic law, human slavery, etc.
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Thu Aug 4 12:05:05 PDT 2005
Let me suggest that it matters far, far less what the Iraqi constitution
says about the role of the clergy and far, far more what the electoral
rules turn out to be, who is in fact elected under them, and what judges
are in fact appointed. Is it conceivable, for example, that the
constitution will say that "Iraqi law is to be completely secular, and
no judge will consult religious materials in construing the meaning of
this constitution or any law passed under it" (which, I think, is a fair
paraphrase of the dominant current understanding of the US
Constitution)? This is, of course, a rhetorical question, since it is
in fact inconceivable. At best, Iraq will be like Israel, which has the
custom of having (at least) on Orthodox Jewish judge on its Supreme
Court who feels altogether free to consult halakhic materials.
I will note, re Lincoln, that until at least 1863 he was continuing to
articulate a fantasy of compensated emancipation and colonization as the
preferred outcome, with slavery not to be completely eradicated from the
US until, I believe, around 1900. What if the South had had the wit to
offer peace terms on that basis? Would we praise Lincoln for "saving
the Union" by paying off the slaveowners and tolerating slavery for
"only" another 35 years?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof