Multiculturalism and religion-based legal pluralism: Islamic law in Europe

Publication date:
Christian J. Backenköhler Casajús, investigador predoctoral, programa de Derecho, Gobierno y Políticas Públicas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM)


This article addresses the degree of recognition of the regulations of Islamic law by Spanish courts from the perspective of legal pluralism. It therefore first sets out the conception of legal pluralism as a new regulatory paradigm and its recent evolution towards a more subjective perspective; secondly, it raises the main institutional and ethical issues arising out of the possibility of recognising legal systems that are seen as culturally alien; and, finally, it makes an analysis of the mechanisms used by Spanish courts to decide on the recognition of some controversial questions of Islamic law in Spain.

Keywords: multiculturalism, legal pluralism, Islam, sharia

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