The Positivization of Ottoman Law and the Question of Continuity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman judicial establishment experimented with positivist legalism, which was an unprecedented way of imagining (and reifying) “the law”. Departing from Léon Buskens’ and Baudouin Dupret’s argument about the invention of “Islamic Law” in the late eighteenth century, the article advances the argument that the Ottoman legal reform in the second half
of the nineteenth century marked a rift from the preceding legal regime. It
was an Ottoman manifestation of a global phenomenon defined by Dupret
as “the positivization of the law.” Viewing nineteenth- century change in the
Ottoman legal field through the prism of the positivization of judicial practice
is a way of illustrating the radical divergence from the preceding legal regimes.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationState Law and Legal Positivism
Subtitle of host publicationThe Global Rise of a New Paradigm
EditorsBadouin Dupret, Jean-Louis Halperin
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)2021044671, 9789004498716
StatePublished - 17 Dec 2022


  • Codification
  • Legal formalism
  • Legal history
  • OTTOMAN Empire
  • Ottoman law
  • nizamiye courts
  • positivism
  • tanzimat


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