Islamic Law in West: The Case of Greece and Analysis of the Judgment
of the Court in Strasbourg in Molla Sali vs. Greece Analyses
The case of Greek law reflects nothing but a fact of coexistance between Western and Islamic law tradi- tions. Domestic law in Greece, which contains a set of Islamic legal norms whereby muslims living in the particular regions of Greece settle their legal disputes, proves this statement. This feature of Greek law has long made it unique in Europe. Something however, has recently changed in the Greek legal regulation what made the mentioned uniquiness different. In 2018, the mentioned Greek legal regulation which has been a result of historical circumstances and international legal agreements signed in XIX and XX centuries underwent a test. A complaint delivered to the European Court of Human Rights by a Greek muslim living in the Greek region of Thrace created the test. more precisely, Greek legal instructions whereby local muslims are obliged to deal with their inheritance issues through Islamic legal norms written into Greek law were questioned in the case Molla Sali vs. Greece. It was argued that the obligation is in clear con- tradiction with European Convention and denies the fundamental Western principle of freedom of choice. The main purpose of this article is to analyse the Molla Sali judgment issued by the European Court of Human Rights in December, 2018. In the first part of the article, international law agreements in which Islamic legal norms came to be a part of Greek national law are investigated. Further, the article takes into consideration the current Greek national legal regulation and its most recent developments. Third, the article analyses the Molla Sali judgment by discussing its facts and legal arguments delivered by the Court of Strasbourg. The article ends with a number of concluding remarks.
Key Words: Islamic law, inheritance law, Western law tradition, legal source