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Sexual Morality at the Egyptian Bar: Female Circumcision, Sex Change Operations, and Motives for Suing

By Baudouin Dupret

Abstract

International audienceInstead of addressing the question of the genealogical connection between Islamic fiqh and modern Egyptian law--which is most doubtful--this paper focuses on the ways through which social actors produce morality and moral boundaries within the framework of Egyptian tribunals. It first examines the manner in which the question of public and sexual morality emerge and are treated in the legal and judicial arena. Then, it summarizes three Egyptian cases related to sex-change operations and female circumcision. From this it attempts to deduce some of the motivations--egoistic, ethical, and political--that impel actors to use the judiciary in such moral cases. It reveals that legal rules and moral principles are mingled within the judge's work. It is here that many standards, among which Islamic normativity, emerge and it is up to law professional to interpret the content of these moral principles, with the consequence that these legal actors have the final word with regard to their definition and implementation

Topics: law, sexual morality, sex-change, Egypt, interpretation, [SHS.SOCIO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Sociology
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:halshs-00178571v1
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