Revealing the Secrets of the Body: Litigants, Courts, and Modern Medicine in Egypt

in The Expert Witness in Islamic Courts

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226749334
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226749358 | DOI:
Revealing the Secrets of the Body: Litigants, Courts, and Modern Medicine in Egypt

Show Summary Details


This article focuses on the incorporation, through expert witnessing, of evidentiary findings based on modern medicine into family (and civil) law litigation in Egypt. It considers litigants' strategies regarding the use of documents based on modern medical inspections in the litigation process to promote their individual interests. Analysis of court practice illustrates the extent to which law can change while retaining its traditional categories and concepts, such as “prejudice caused to a wife by her husband” or “mortal sickness.” Drawing on twentieth-century shari'a and civil court decisions, the article examines modern medical inspections that serve as evidence in family law cases. It asks why judges accept certain kinds of medical inspections but are simultaneously reluctant to accept other types of inspections. It describes the legal construct of mortal illness and reveals a growing tendency among litigants to support their claims concerning such illness with medical documentation such as protocols of medical tests, hospitalization reports, expert medical opinions, and death certificates.

Keywords: expert witnessing; Egypt; medicine; litigation; medical inspections; mortal illness; family law; evidence; litigants; judges

Chapter.  14587 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.