OUR SCHOLARS | Dr. Hadi Enayat

Hadi Enayat teaches at several universities in London and specializes in the political sociology of the Middle East, socio-legal studies, comparative politics and race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism. He worked as a journalist for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo between 1993-4 and as an editor for I. B Tauris Publishers in London from 1994-2000. From 2002-2003, he became a researcher in the policy department of Praxis, an NGO that works with refugees in the UK. He received his BA from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and both his MSc (Distinction) and PhD from the University of London Birkbeck College.

His recent book entitled, Law, State, and Society in Modern Iran: Constitutionalism, Autocracy, and Legal Reform 1906-1941 (2013), is based on his doctorate. The book discusses the historical sociology of the development of the modern legal system in Iran and won the 2013 Mossadegh Prize.

Dr. Hadi Enayat is Featured in The Third Path

What Dr. Hadi Enayat Said

“Sharia courts were often problematic for merchants because of this practice of [foreign language] which I mentioned earlier, contradictory rulings. …If one merchant can get a ruling from a court and then the losing merchant in that dispute can take the same dispute to another Sharia court and get an opposite ruling, it doesn’t do a great deal for business. Regularity and predictability which is of condition for economic growth and doing business on some kind of predictable rule of law.”

“Modern intellectuals in Iran in the 19th century people like Malkam Khan and Mustashar al-Dawleh looked at their own society, and they believed that the key instrument in the backwardness and chaos of Iranian society was law. What was missing was law, Qanun. …And, this was the secret of progress and civilization in the west, in their outlook. So, they argued legal reform was central to modernization to creating a kind of a more ordered, a more civilized, and ultimately more powerful state in Iran. … The word was then popularized in 19th century. … Malkam Khan was echoing an argument which was made by Jean Bodin the French political theorist who argued that the division of powers doesn’t constrain power and in fact makes power more efficient.”

“By the 1960’s and 70’s, large numbers of Iranians were using the courts. I would say that was happening as far back as the 30’s and 40’s actually. …I think the best way to summarize the judiciary under the late Pahlavi system is using a term used by an Egyptian scholar Tamir Mustafa. He is describing the judiciary under Mubarak, “insulated liberalism.” …But, this existed within the context of a profoundly illiberal and authoritarian and often brutal regime, the Pahlavi regime and the SAVAK abuses which were committed under it. So, the insulated bit is the judiciary and the legal system. …You can argue this happened in Spain under Franco as well where the judiciary is much more humane and liberal than the regime itself. And in Chile under Pinochet.”

The Rule of Law

Sharia & Secular Courts

Pahlavi Law

Constitutional Movement

Civil & Criminal Law