Arskal Salim



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Indonesia has probably the fastest changing legal system in the Muslim world. This book represents the first ethnographic account of legal pluralism in the post-conflict and disaster situation in Aceh. It addresses changes in both the national legal system and the regional legal structure in the province.

Focusing on the encounter between diverse patterns of legal reasoning advocated by multiple actors and by different institutions (local, national and international; official and unofficial; judicial, political and social cultural) it considers the vast array of issues arising in the wake of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Aceh.

It investigates disputes about rights to land and other forms of property, power relations, the conflict of rules, gender relationships, the right to make decisions, and prevailing norms. The cases involve various actors from villages, the courts, the provincial government and the legislature, the national Supreme Court and the central government of Indonesia.

Arskal Salim is Senior Lecturer at the Religion and Society Research Centre, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Key Features:

  • Covers legal disputes surrounding inheritance, marriage and divorce, legislation and law-making, land dispute, non-Muslims and shari'ah, and religious courts
  • Includes compelling legal case studies from the post-disaster situation
  • Presents law as a site of contestation reflecting the unique set of conflicts arising after the 2004 tsunami

Publication Information

Aga Khan University-ISMC; Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2015


Exploring Muslim Contexts






Islam, Pluralism of law, Aceh, Indonesia, Ethnography, Post-disaster, Legal disputes

Volume 6: Contemporary Islamic Law in Indonesia : Sharia and Legal Pluralism