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Title: Al-Shaybani's contribution to the development of international law : an historical and comparative study in the light of the work of Augustine, Gratian, Aquinas, Vitoria and Grotius
Author: Bashir, Khaled Ramadan Ali
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Mohammad Al-Shaybani is one of the greatest scholars of Islamic international law (assiyar). His book, As-Siyar Al-Kabier, is an eighth century textbook on international law. In this thesis I present and discuss the precise nature of Al-Shaybani’s contribution compared to the other great contributions on international law made by Augustine, Gratian, Aquinas, Vitoria and Grotius. I affirm the view that Al-Shaybani made a major contribution to the theory of international law that has been unacknowledged, and unjustly so, by scholarship. Al-Shaybani’s book was a comprehensive treatise on the law regulating international relations from the Islamic perspective. It was the first attempt to produce such a book on international law as a discipline distinct from other legal fields. In terms of legal complexity, it can only be compared to Grotius’s greatest book on the subject The Law of War and Peace. In the area of humanitarian law, the only other writer with whom he can be compared is Vitoria, although even Vitoria does not go into the same depth of complexity. Al-Shaybani dealt with war carefully and limited cases of justified wars to three categories only. He offered many rules restricting cruel practices in the treatment of enemy personnel and prisoners of war. The nature of peace and how it could best be achieved was fully considered. Rules on treaties, diplomacy, travel, trade and more were discussed in a way that would best give rise to the peaceful coexistence between nations. Detailed legal rules with the purpose of guaranteeing the continuity of peace are suggested in his work. In contrast, Augustine, Gratian and Aquinas only engaged in limited discussions on some of the subjects of the law of war. Vitoria’s contribution on these matters was more extensive but even he lagged way behind Al-Shaybani. The work of Al-Shaybani was certainly as detailed, complex, comprehensive and useful as that of Grotius on international law. Besides the presentation and discussion of the merits of his work, a central purpose of this thesis is to argue that any future work on the history of international law that does not consider Al-Shaybani’s contribution would be unsound.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Government of Libya
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.582675  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International law
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