Next month, Routledge will release “Islam and Women’s Income: Dowry and Law in Bangladesh,” by Farah Deeba Chowdhury (York University). The publisher’s description follows:
This book examines the interrelationship between law, culture, patriarchy and religion in the context of contemporary Bangladesh. It explores the role of Islam in society and politics generally, and its influence on gender equality in particular. The work focuses on the situation of married women. Taking a socio-legal approach, it analyses the changing nature of the dowry practice and its relation to women’s increasing paid labour force activity. Despite anti-dowry legislation, it is argued here that the dowry system continues in the form of the appropriation of wives’ income. The work calls for legal recognition of this action and the amendment of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1980 as a result of the changing social realities that are taking place in the lives of Bangladeshi women. An Islamic approach is applied to equality between men and women in addressing and analysing these issues. The book includes international comparisons on gender equality and discusses the role of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Descrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as the dowry system in South Asia.
In September, the Catholic University of America Press released “The History of Courts and Procedure in Medieval Canon Law,” edited by Wilfried Hartmann (University of Tübingen) and Kenneth Pennington (Catholic University of America). The publisher’s description follows:
Understanding the rules of procedure and the practices of medieval and early modern courts is of great importance for historians of every stripe. The authors and editors of this volume present readers with a description of court procedure, the sources for investigating the work of the courts, the jurisprudence and the norms that regulated the courts, as well as a survey of the variety of courts that populated the European landscape. Not least, the authors wish to show the relationship between the jurisprudence that governed judicial procedure and what happened in the court room.
By the end of the thirteenth century, court procedure in continental Europe in secular and ecclesiastical courts shared many characteristics. As the academic jurists of the Ius commune began to excavate the norms of procedure from Justinian’s great codification of law and then to expound them in the classroom and in their writings, they shaped the structure of ecclesiastical courts and secular courts as well. These essays also illuminate striking differences in the sources that we find in different parts of Europe. In northern Europe the archives are rich but do not always provide the details we need to understand a particular case. In Italy and Southern France the documentation is more detailed than in other parts of Europe but here too the historical records do not answer every question we might pose to them. In Spain, detailed documentation is strangely lacking, if not altogether absent. Iberian conciliar canons and tracts on procedure tell us much about practice in Spanish courts. As these essays demonstrate, scholars who want to peer into the medieval courtroom, must also read letters, papal decretals, chronicles, conciliar canons, and consilia to provide a nuanced and complete picture of what happened in medieval trials. This volume will give sophisticated guidance to all readers with an interest in European law and courts.