It is only reasonable to assume that dissimilar legal systems possess dissimilar patterns of legal reasoning. Inasmuch as two legal systems differ in their structure and function, they also differ in the types of arguments they employ in their service. It may well be argued that law is, in the final analysis, the product of the premises and methods from and through which it is derived. Two such legal systems which display a vast difference in their overall structure and function are Islamic law and the common law. This paper proposes to shed some light on the logic of legal reasoning in both orders as well as to analyze the reasons and background which give rise to differences and similarities in their methods of reasoning. This will be done with the intent of bringing out some of the major factors which operate on the level of the judicial process and which contribute to the creation of differences in legal orders. The focal comparison in such a study must be the relationship between the logic of the law and the amount of emphasis given to social change in secular and religious cultures.


Conference on Comparative Links between Islamic Law and the Common Law: Legal Reasoning in Islamic Law and the Common Law: Logic and Method