Shari’ah Court in Thailand: Between Inspiration and Challenge

Sulaiman Dorloh

Abstract


Thailand is a multicultural society, blending Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures into a single state structure. Within it, however, there are stark contrasts as to what role religion, especially Islam, should play in identity formation and its articulation at different levels and different planes of live. This paper shall discuss the background of  Shari’ah court in  Thailand and the problems that has encountered through the years. Shari’ah court in the Thailand commonly exists inside the ambit of the Thai judicial court system. In fact, the Shari’ah court in Thailand is an ideal Islamic court which explicitly displays the difference between state courts. The establishment of Shari’ah court was intended to provide an alternative platform for the Muslims people in Thailand in the field of adjudication.In this paper the author seeks to highlight the position of Shari’ah  court in the south from the point of view of the Thai judicial system and the decision of Dato’ Yuthithams (Muslim judges).  This paper will also explore recent developments in Shari’ah court which is applicable in the Malay-Muslim speaking provinces namely, Patani, Narathiwat, Yala and Satul provinces with reference to cases decided by the Dato’ Yuthitham, and its jurisdiction in matter of matrimonial disputes for the Malay Muslims.


Keywords


Shari’ah court, Dato’ Yuthitham, Thai court jurisdiction, Islamic family law.

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