The Influence of Common Law Advocates and Judges in the Shar??ah Adjudication: A Critical Exposition of the Experience in Nigeria and Zanzibar

Mwinyi T. Haji


A considerable influence of advocates and judges of common law training has been recorded over time in adjudication of the Shar??ah disputes in Nigeria and Zanzibar. This is due to the colonial heritage of the British common law which exported the paradigm to these countries. This seems not to go down well with the Shar??ah advocates. The increasing influence of trained advocates and judges in common law in these countries has not comparatively received academic attention over the years. This is more so that judicial institution whose officers in the temple of justice do not have deep knowledge of its legal jurisprudence may affect the justice of the matter in those courts. Against this backdrop, the paper makes a critical exposition of the influence of common law advocates and judges in the adjudication of the Shar??ah disputes in Nigeria and Zanzibar. To achieve this, it examines appearance of advocates in the Shar??ah courts from the constitutional and Shar??ah perspectives. It also discusses how common law trained judges have their influences in the adjudication of the Shar??ah disputes. It makes far reaching recommendations which, if adopted, it will enrich the legal policy of justice of these countries and similar jurisdictions. This paper adopts content analysis of legal issues and interviews conducted for some stake holders in Zanzibar.

Keywords: Common law advocates and judges, Shar??ah/ Kadhis Courts, Shar??ah, Policy, Nigeria, Zanzibar, Constitution

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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