Reconciling Rights and Obligations: An Examination of Shari`ah Penal Reform in Northern Nigeria

  • Published in Law

This article examines the debate concerning the recent reinstatement of Shari`ah law with respect to criminal matters in Northern Nigeria. The discussion explores the inherent challenges in reconciling the equally entrenched and passionate views of pro-Shari`ah supporters on their right to freedom of religion with those that question its application in terms of human rights norms and obligations, and its constitutional legality. The analysis concludes that Shari`ah laws can coexist with Nigeria’s common law system and remain relevant in the context of Islam, provided that its principles are adapted and modernized to comport with international standards for due process and are interpreted and applied consistently.

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