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Across Legal LinesJews and Muslims in Modern Morocco$
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Jessica M. Marglin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300218466

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300218466.001.0001

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Colonial Pathos

Colonial Pathos

(p.171) Chapter Seven Colonial Pathos
Across Legal Lines

Jessica M. Marglin

Yale University Press

This chapter traces French legal reforms in the early decades of the Protectorate and their impact on Jews' legal strategies. Colonial administrators attempted to harden the jurisdictional boundaries separating Morocco's different legal orders in order to prevent forum shopping and promote the rationalization of the government. In doing so, they reduced the jurisdiction of Jewish and shariʻa courts. The French were not able to implement their legal reforms immediately; both Jews and Muslims initially resisted these far-reaching changes. Nonetheless, the colonial authorities eventually succeeded at imposing firm jurisdictional boundaries among different legal institutions. Yet these reforms had unintended negative consequences for Morocco's Jews—consequences that proved particularly hard to swallow given France's promises to emancipate the country's religious minority.

Keywords:   France, French legal reforms, Jews' legal strategies, colonialism, Morocco's legal orders, Jewish courts, shariʻa courts, jurisdictional boundaries

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