Constitutional Courts and Rule of Law in Islamic Law States: A Comparative Study - December 2020

Constitutional Courts and Rule of Law in Islamic Law States: A Comparative Study

This article discusses the relationship between the rule of law and constitutional courts in 29 Islamic Law States (ILS), by focusing on constitutional language, and with particular reference to the cases of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. We introduce 3 new variables that can be used to measure the presence of constitutional courts in the language of the constitution, and describe the implications of such constitutional language for the rule of law. Our data show that during the 2007-2017 timeframe, constitutional oversight in the Muslim milieu has increased. In 2017, 76 percent of ILS have a constitutional court or equivalent judicial organ. This number has increased from 66 percent in 2007. We suggest that this trend highlights the importance of understanding the relationship between the rule of law and constitutional courts in the Islamic context.