Islamic member state and the scrutiny of the death penalty in the Universal Periodic Review

Nazir, Amna Fatima (2019). Islamic member state and the scrutiny of the death penalty in the Universal Periodic Review. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Many Islamic countries propose legitimising the death penalty using theological and secular political reasoning. They argue that the punishment is privileged within a conception of theocracy expressed through state sovereignty and/or it is an efficacious criminal justice policy for punishing those who commit the ‘most serious crimes’. This study argues that such justifications are misguided, and that the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) provides a cogent mechanism to provide a clearer perspective on the legitimacy of the death penalty within Islam.

To investigate the claims of the erroneous theological reasoning for the death penalty, the present study uses the UPR as a methodological lens from which to scrutinise Islamic Member State reasons for the use of the punishment. The UPR is an innovative mechanism for the peer-review of the human rights record of all 193 UN Member States, and this includes the human rights implications for implementing the death penalty within Islam. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sudan are presented as two case studies, and the work considers whether the sovereign state discourses for maintaining the death penalty are compatible with international human rights standards.

The foundational assessment of this UN mechanism for assessing the Islamic use of the death penalty is then followed by an exegesis of Islamic law and presents findings on the legitimacy of Islamic state propositions for maintaining the death penalty, based on theological interpretations. It identifies a more enlightened reading of Islamic jurisprudence to provide cogent reasons for the prominence of the right to life over the Islamic Member State claims to legitimise the death penalty.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)


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