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FALL 2016

Instructor Zubair Abbasi

Room No. 1-14 Law School Building
Class Timings TBD
Office Hours TBD
Email & TA’s email:
TA Office Hours TBD
Course URL TBD

Course Basics
Credit Hours (To be filled by the Department /Academic Registrar / Dean in accordance with
Degree requirements)

Lecture(s) Nbr of Lec(s) 2 Duration 1 hour 50 minutes per

per week session
Recitation/Lab (per week)

Tutorial (per week)

Course Distribution
Core This is a core law subject, with no optional or elective modules.

Elective There is no elective component in this course.

Open for Student Category Law Students

Close for Student Category

Course Description

Muslim Personal Law is the branch of private law that applies to family life (marriage, divorce and
maintenance) and the associated matters such as disposal of property inter vivos (gift, waqf and trust) or
testamentary (will) or inheritance law. This area of law is still regulated primarily by uncodified or semi
codified Sharī‘a/Fiqh even after the advent of modern legislating state all over the Muslim world. However,
state legislation increasing plays an important role especially for the promotion of women’s rights and
children’s rights. Therefore, the application of international human rights law in the Muslim world becomes
important with regard to Islamic family law.

This course introduces Muslim Personal Law in its historical context in South Asia by exploring its current

application in Pakistan, other parts of the Muslim world, and the West where Muslims live as minorities. This
course will also explore the current challenges faced by Islamic family law and assess its future in the Muslim
world and the West.

The aim of this course is to enable students to develop a profound understanding of the principles and practices
of Islamic family law and to critically engage with contemporary debates about its application in the modern
world. To achieve this end, comparative references will also be made to other legal systems such as English
law and Civil law along with other religious legal systems such as Canon Law, Jewish Law and Hindu Law.
This will highlight the distinguishing features of Islamic family law and show its interaction with other legal

Course Prerequisites
 (To be decided by the Academic Registrar, Dean and the Department of Law &
Policy according to the degree progression)

Course Specific Objectives

 Develop an understanding of the historical transformation of Sharī‘a/Fiqh into Muslim Personal Law
through the incorporation of Sharī‘a/Fiqh into the structure of modern state during colonial period.

 Develop ability to critically evaluate family laws in Pakistan and assess the role of legislature and
higher judiciary in accommodating Sharī‘a inspired private laws within international human rights

 Conduct a critical and context-based analysis of issues relating to legal reforms in the Muslim world,
identifying principles of Islamic family law in the legislation of various Muslim countries.

 Analyse the issue of the application of the principles of Islamic family law in the West upon Muslim
minorities within the legal framework of host countries.

Objectives for the Development of Personal Skills

 Work independently and as part of a group, including participation in oral discussion.

 Develop analytical writing skills and the ability to synthesise material from various sources.
 Find, select, digest and effectively organise material to produce a coherent and reasoned argument
within specified deadlines.
 Ability to develop arguments and counter-arguments using diverse data and evidence.

 Understanding of the methodologies, approaches, analytics, and theories of law and society.

Learning Outcomes

 Clear understanding of the history, sources, methodologies and practical applications of Muslim
Personal Law in Muslim majority and minority countries.
 Ability to critically engage with and analyse statutes and case law regarding Islamic family law.
 Appreciation of the challenges faced by Islamic family law in the modern world.
 Ability to contextualize law beyond text.

Grading Breakup and Policy

Short Assignment(s)/ Quiz(s): 15%

Class Participation: 10%

Midterm Examination/ Project: 25%

Final Examination: 50%

Students are expected to review the course materials in advance of each class and will be called-on to
participate in the class without prior notice. If, however, you are unable to prepare for the class on a particular
day, please email the instructor and TA before the start of the class. If you are found unprepared for the class,
this will count negatively towards your Class Participation. In addition to the on-call system, voluntary
participation is encouraged. Thorough preparation, active participation and contribution of students in the
presentation will be monitored by the course instructor and the TA on a continuous basis throughout the

Examination Detail
Midterm Exam Yes/No: Yes

Combine Separate: TBD

Duration: TBD

Preferred Date: As per the LUMS Exam Schedule

Exam Specifications: TBD

Final Exam Yes/No: Yes

Combine Separate: TBD

Duration: TBD

Preferred Date: As per the LUMS Exam Schedule

Exam Specifications: TBD

Course Overview
Topic Recommended Readings Objectives/

0. Pre-course Elisa Giunchi, ‘The Reinvention of Sharī‘a under the British Provide a critique
recommended Raj: In Search of Authenticity and Certainty’ (2010) 69 The of Muslim Personal
readings Journal of Asian Studies 1119; Law by underlining
the political
MR Anderson, ‘Legal Scholarship and the Politics of Islam in considerations in its
British India’ in RS Khare (ed) Perspectives on Islamic Law,

Justice, and Society (Rowman & Littlefield 1999); and formation during
colonial period
MZ Abbasi, ‘Islamic Law and Social Change: An Insight into
the Making of Anglo-Muhammadan Law’ (2014) 3 (Oxford)
Journal of Islamic Studies 263-97.

1. Introduction Knut Vikør, Between God and the Sultan: A History of Provide a brief
Islamic Law (Hurst & Co. 2005) 299-325. introduction of the

2. Historical Scott Kugle, ‘Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting Introduction to the
Development: of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia’ (2001) 35 early history of the
From Sharia/Fiqh Modern Asian Studies 257; and interaction between
to Muslim Islamic law and
Personal Law English law.
Guenther, AM, ‘Syed Mahmood and the Transformation of
Muslim Law in British India’ (PhD Thesis, McGill University Understanding of
2004) 298-304. the history of MPL
in British India.
3. Muslim Sects and Fyzee, AAA, ‘Outlines of Muhammadan Law’ (Oxford Introduction to
their leading Fiqh University Press 2014) Ch 1, 42-68; and various Muslim
Texts: Sources of sects and their legal
Islamic Family AM Guenther, ‘Hanafi Fiqh in Mughal India: The Fatāwá-i texts.
Law ‘Ālamgīrī’ in RM Eaton (ed) India's Islamic Traditions, 711-
1750 (Oxford University Press 2003).

4. Marriage (1) Muhammad Tahir Mansoori, Family Law in Islam (Shari‘ah Comprehension of
Academy 2012) Chapters 1-4, 1-70; and the legal nature of
marriage in Islam.
Abdul Kadir v Salima (1886) ILR 8 All 149

5. Marriage (2) Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 2 Case Law on

6. Dower and Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 3; Legal and social
Dowry understanding of
Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restrictions) Act 1976; and dower and dowry.

MT Mansoori, Family Law in Islam (Shari‘ah Academy 2012)

Chapter 5, 71-82.

7. Maintenance of Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 4; and

Wife and
Children DF Mulla, Principles of Mahomedan Law (LexisNexis, 2013)
454-58; 351-57.

8. Dissolution of Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 5; and

Marriage: General
The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939
9. Khula Moonshee Buzloor Ruheem v Shumsoonnissa Begum

(Calcutta) [1867] UKPC 22;

Balqis Fatima v Najam ul-Ikram Chaudhry PLD 1959 Lahore


Khurshid Bibi v Baboo Muhammad Amin PLD 1967 Supreme

Court 97; and

Saleem Ahmad v Government of Pakistan PLD 2014 Federal

Shariat Court 43.
10. Ṭalāq Tafwiḍ Muhammad Munir, ‘Stipulations in a Muslim Marriage
Contract with Special Reference to Talaq Al-Tafwid
Provisions in Pakistan’ (2005-2006) 12 Yearbook of Islamic
and Middle Eastern Law 235-62.

11. Children’s Rights Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 6; and
(1): Legitimacy
and Paternity of Pollack, D., Bleich, M., Reid, C. J., & Fadel, M, ‘Classical
Children Religious Perspectives of Adoption Law’ (2004) Notre Dame
Law Review 693. See section III: Adoption under Islamic law,

The Guardians and Wards Act 1890

12. Children’s Rights Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 7; Introduction to the
(2) Guardianship, principle of
Custody and Davis, Martha F. ‘Child Custody in Pakistan: The Role of ‘welfare of the
Welfare of Minors Ijtihad’ (1984) 5 BC Third World LJ 119; and child’.

Ishaque, Shabnam, and Muhammad Mustafa Khan, ‘The Best

Interests of the Child: A Prevailing Consideration within
Islamic Principles and a Governing Principle in Child Custody
Cases in Pakistan’ (2015) International Journal of Law, Policy
and the Family 15.

13. Transfer of Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 8; and

Personal Property
(1): Gifts Lucy Carroll, ‘Life Interests and Inter-Generational Transfer
of Property Avoiding the Law of Succession’ (2001) 8 Islamic
Law and Society 245.

14. Transfer of Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 9;

Personal Property
(2): Waqf Aharon Layish, ‘The Family Waqf and the Shar‘i Law of
Succession in Modern Times’ (1997) 4 Islamic Law and
Society 352-88; and

JA Schoenblum, ‘The Role of Legal Doctrine in the Decline

of the Islamic Waqf: A Comparison with the Trust’ (1999) 32
Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1191-1211.

15. Transfer of Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 10; and
Personal Property
(3): Wills Lucy Carroll, ‘Orphaned Grandchildren in Islamic Law of
Succession: Reform and Islamization in Pakistan’ (1998) 5
Islamic Law and Society 409-47.

16. Inheritance law Abbasi & Cheema, Family Law in Pakistan, Ch 11

17. Inheritance law DF Mulla, Principles of Mahomedan Law (20th edn,
(2) LexisNexis 2013) Chapter 6, 50-63.

18. Inheritance law DF Mulla, Principles of Mahomedan Law (20th edn,

(3) LexisNexis 2013) Chapter 7, 64-109.

19. Inheritance law DF Mulla, Principles of Mahomedan Law (20th edn,

(4) LexisNexis 2013) Chapter 8, 110-131.

20. Critical Issues in Lucy Carroll, ‘Application of the Islamic Law of Succession:
Inheritance law Was the Propositus a Sunnī or a Shī‘a?’ (1995) 2 Islamic Law
(1) and Society 24.

21. Critical Issues in Lucy Carroll, ‘The Pakistan Federal Shariat Court, Section 4
Inheritance law of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, and the Orphaned
(2) Grandchild’ (2002) 9 Islamic Law and Society 70.

22. Procedure in The Family Courts Act 1964

Family Courts
The Family Courts Rules 1965

The Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961

The Rules under Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961

23. Reform in Islamic Mian Abdur Rashid, ‘Report of the Commission on Marriage Introduction to the
Family Law and Family Law’, in Khurshid Ahmad (ed) Studies in the MFLO and the
Family Law of Islam (Chirag-e-Rah Publications 1959) 33-97; controversy
surrounding it.
Allah Rakha v The Federation of Pakistan PLD 2000 FSC 1.

24. MPL in India Werner Menski, 'Uniform Civil Code Debate in Indian Law: Challenges to MPL
New Developments and Changing Agenda, The' (2008) 9 in current day
German LJ 211; India.

Vishwa Lochan Madan v Union Of India 2014.

25. Islamic Family Wael Hallaq, Sharī‘a: Theory, Practice, Transformations

Law in the (CUP 2009) ‘Engineering family law’ 459-73;
Middle East
Fazlur Rahman, ‘A Survey of Modernization of Muslim

Family Law’ (1980) 11 International Journal of Middle East
Studies 451.

26. Islamic Family Fareeha Khan, 'Traditionalist Approaches to Sharī‘ah Reform:

Law in the West Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thānawi’s Fatawa on Women's Right to
Divorce' (PhD Thesis, Michigan University 2008) Conclusion:
Understanding Sharī‘ah Application in Minority Muslim
Contexts, 201-16;

K Lugo, ‘American Family Law and Sharia-Compliant

Marriages’ (2012) 13.2 Engage.

27. Islamic Family Yefet, Karin Carmit, ‘The Constitution and Female-Initiated Compatibility of
law and Divorce in Pakistan: Western Liberalism in Islamic Garb’ MPL with human
International (2011) 34 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 553-615. rights law.
Human Rights
28. Guest Lecture &

Suggested Project/Assignment Topics

Following are some of the proposed topics for research. You may like to choose your own topic for
writing your essay.

1. General Trends in Case Law on Dower, Dowry and Maintenance

2. General Trends in Case Law on the Dissolution of Marriage

3. Gender Equality and Polygamy in Islam

4. Legality of Pre-nuptial Agreements under Islamic Law

5. The Impact of Islamisation of Laws on Muslim Personal Law in Pakistan

6. Pros and Cons of the Codification of Islamic Family Law

7. Legal Forum Shopping (Takhyyir and Talfiq) in Islamic Family Law

8. Global/International vs National Islamic Family Law

9. Myth and Reality about Court Marriages: An Empirical Study

10. Validity of Triple Talaq under Pakistani Law

11. Shari‘a as the Solution to Legal Problems in Pakistan: An Empirical Survey of


12. Women’s Right to Inheritance in Pakistan

13. Rights of an Illegitimate Child

14. The Origins and Islamicity of the Right to Restitution of Conjugal Rights

Choosing a Topic

Each student shall choose one topic for the research project, get it approved by the
instructor, and develop it over the course of the term through research and fieldwork.
The following are the deadlines for various stages and each stage is allocated separate

Submission of Proposal: 30 September 2.5 marks

Literature Review: 20 October 2.5 marks

First draft: 20 November 10 marks

Presentation (10 min): 25 November 5 marks

Final version of paper: 30 November 5 marks

(NOTE: no extensions will be given for any stage and the essay will be evaluated
based on the overall performance.)

The criteria for grading the project essay1

The main criteria for the grading are the understanding of the topic, depth of research,
originality of the argument based on the research, the critical analysis supporting the
argument, and the structure of the essay. Other considerations regarding the structure
of the project are as follows:

Topic – should be on one of the issues included in the course outline.

Thesis statement– should be clear regarding the purpose of the law and your
argument in relation to it.

Legal Content- the argument should not veer from legal issues, legal rules,
legislation, case law, regulations and policies.

Research – quality and depth of supporting material.

Analysis – should be logical, clear, critical and reflective based on the research

Originality- should be novel, insightful and unique based on your own understanding
of the issue.

I gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Dr Muhammad Azeem for developing these criteria for
his course on Labour Law.

Evidence – scholarly references, case law, interviews, surveys. Please avoid using
inauthentic online sources. Do not quote any of the sources directly but try to rephrase
the content in your own words. The citations should be according to OSCOLA style.

Organization – should contain an introduction, thesis statement, logical development

of the argument using evidence, and conclusion(s) which affirms or provides nuance
to the thesis.

Style – clear, with flow, short sentences and paragraphs, with footnotes.

Length – 2000 to 2,500 words

Caution against Plagiarism: Any idea, sentence or paragraph you take from a source
must be credited with the original source. If you paraphrase or directly quote from a
source in the examination, presentation or essays, the source must be explicitly
mentioned. You must not plagiarise contents, be it from scholarly sources (i.e. books
and journal articles) or from the Internet. The university has strict rules with
consequences for students involved in plagiarism.


Caste Disabilities Removal Act 1850

Kazis Act 1880
Mussalman Wakf Validating Act 1913
Guardians and Wards Act 1890
Succession Act 1925
Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929
Mussalman Wakf Validating Act 1930
NWFP Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1935
Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937
Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939
West Pakistan Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1948
Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961
Rules under the MFL 1961
Family Courts Act 1964
Family Courts Rules 1965
West Pakistan Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1962
Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restrictions) Act 1976
Punjab Waqf Properties Ordinance 1979
Chapter XX Offences relating to marriage, Pakistan Penal Code 1860 (sections 493 A
through 496 C)

Recommended Books

Ali, SA, Student's Handbook of Mahommedan Law (Thacker, Spink & Co 1903)

Ali, SA, Mahommedan Law (Imran Law Book House 2012, first published 1892)

Fyzee, AAA, Outlines of Muhammadan Law (OUP 2014, first published 1949)

Mulla, DF, Principles of Mahomedan Law (LxisNexis India 2013, first published

Rahim, A, The Principles of Muhammadan Jurisprudence (Luzac & Co 1911)

Vesey-Fitzgerald, S, Muhammadan Law: An Abridgement (OUP 1931)

Wilson, RK, A Digest of Anglo-Muhammadan Law (1st edn W. Thacker & Co 1895)

David Pearl & W Menski, A Text Book on Muslim Law (London 2004)

Faiz Badruddin Tyabji, Principles of Muhammadan Law (Calcutta 1940)

Giunchi, E, Muslim Family Law in Western Courts (Routledge 2014)

Khan, H, The Islamic Law of Inheritance (OUP 2014)

Serajuddin, Alamgir Muhammad, Muslim Family Law, Secular Courts and Muslim
Women of South Asia: A Study of Judicial Activism (OUP 2013)

Griffith-Jones, R, Islam and English Law: Rights, Responsibilities and the Place of
Shari'a (Cambridge University Press 2013)

Nelson, MJ, In the Shadow of Shari'ah: Islam, Islamic Law and Democracy in
Pakistan (Hurst & Company 2011)

Emon, AM, Ellis, M and Glahn, B, Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law
(OUP Oxford 2012)

Fiqh Texts

Ibne Rushd, The Distinguished Jurist's Primer: Bidāyat al-Mujtahid (Nyazee, IAK, tr,
v. 2, Centre for Muslim Contribution to Civilization 1996) available at

Al-Marghinani, The Guidance: A Classical Manual of Hanafi Law, (A Translation of

Al-Hidayah Fi Sharh Bidayat al-Mubtadi (Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, tr, Amal Press

Baillie, NBE, A Digest of Moohummudan Law (2nd edn, Smith, Elder, & Co 1875)

Baillie, J, Jones, W and Company, EI, A Digest of Mohummudan Law, According to

the Tenets of the Twelve Imams (Printed at the Honorable Company's Press 1805)

Abdur Rahman, Institutes of Muhammadan Law,


Abbasi, MZ, Sharia and State Law: Relevance of Islamic Legal History for the
Application of Muslim Family Law in the West, Journal of Law, Religion and State,
2(3) 2015, 124-38;

Abbasi, MZ, ‘The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction’, (2012) 26
Arab Law Quarterly, 121-53.

Anderson, JND, 'The Role of Personal Statutes in Social Development in Islamic

Countries' (1971) 13 Comparative Studies in Society and History 16.

Carroll, Lucy (1996) Quran 2: 229: “A Charter Granted to the Wife?”: Judicial Khula‘
in Pakistan. Islamic Law and Society, 3(1) 91-126.

Carroll, L, 'Daughter's Right of Inheritance in India: A Perspective on the Problem of

Dowry' (1991) 25 Modern Asian Studies 791;

Carroll, L, 'The Hanafi Law of Intestate Succession: A Simplified Approach' (1983)

17 Modern Asian Studies 629;

Carroll, L, 'The Ithna Ashari Law of Intestate Succession: An Introduction to Shia

Law Applicable in South Asia' (1985) 19 Modern Asian Studies 85;

Chaudhry, MA, The Logic in the Traditional Share of the Daughter in Father’s
Patrimony: A Case Study of the Punjab (2009-10) Journal of Law and Social Research

Emon, AM, 'Conceiving Islamic Law in a Pluralist Society: History, Politics and
Multicultural Jurisprudence' (2006) Sing. J. Legal Stud. 331.

Haider, Nadya (2000) "Islamic Legal Reform: The Case of Pakistan and Family Law",
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, 12. 287.

Lau, Martin (2007) "Human Rights, Natural Justice and Pakistan’s Shari‘at Courts".
In Susan Breau and Javaid Rehman (eds) Religion, Human Rights and International
Law. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff. 359-378.

Lau, Martin (2010) "Shari‘a and National Law in Pakistan". In Jan Michiel Otto (ed)
Shari‘a Incoporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve
Muslim Countries in Past and Present. Leiden: Leiden University Press. 373-432.

Masud, MK, Urf and Custom in Common Law and Islamic Law: Common Law
Marriage, Zawag Orfi and Zawaj Misyar (2009-10) Journal of Law and Social
Research 1-16.

Munir, Muhammad, Marriage in Islam: A Civil Contract or a Sacrosanct? (January-

March 2008). Hamdard-Islamicus, Vol. XXXI, No. 1, January-March 2008. Available
at SSRN:

Munir, Muhammad, Talaq and the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 in Pakistan:
An Analysis (September 11, 2011). Spectrum of International Law, Vol. 1, pp. 16-18,
May-August 2011. Available at SSRN:

Munir, Muhammad, Triple Talaq in one Session: An Analysis of the Opinions of
Classical, Medieval and Modern Muslim Jurists under Islamic Law (April 30, 2011).
Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 27 (2013), pp. 29-49.. Available at SSRN: or

Munir, Muhammad, Three or One Talaq? An Analysis of Some Fresh Fatwas on the
Legal Effect of Three Talaq in One Session in Pakistan and India (April 16, 2012).
Hamdard Islamicus, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3 (July-September 2013), pp. 33-47. Available
at SSRN: or

Munir, Muhammad, Reforms in Triple Talaq in the Personal Laws of Muslim States
and the Pakistani Legal System: Continuity Versus Change (April 15, 2011).
International Review of Law 2013: 2. Available at SSRN:

Munir, Muhammad, The Rights of Women and the Role of Superior Judiciary in
Pakistan with Special Reference to Family Law Cases from 2004-2008 (2009).
Pakistan Journal of Islamic Research, Vol. 3, pp. 271-299, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Rehman, Javaid (2007) The Shari‘a, Islamic Family Laws and International Human
Rights Law: Examining the Theory and Practice of Polygamy and Talaq,
International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 21. 108–127.

Schoenblum, JA, 'The Role of Legal Doctrine in the Decline of the Islamic Waqf: A
Comparison with the Trust' (1999) 32 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1191;


Federal Shariat Court (Pakistan) Annual Reports 2002-11, Islamabad: Federal Shariat

Mian Abdur Rashid, ‘Report of the Commission on Marriage and Family Law’ in
Khurshid Ahmad (ed) Studies in the Family Law of Islam (Chirāg-e-Rāh Publications
1959) 33-97.


Ahmed, F, 'Religious Autonomy and the Personal Law System (DPhil Thesis, Oxford
University 2012)

Khan, F, 'Traditionalist Approaches to Sharī‘ah Reform: Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali

Thānawi’s Fatawa on Women's Right to Divorce' (PhD Thesis, Michigan University

Lau, MW, 'The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan, PhD Thesis' (School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London 2002)

Munir, M, 'Precedent in Pakistani Legal System, PhD Thesis' (Karachi University


Nelson, MJ, 'Land, Law, and the Logic of Local Politics in the Punjab, 1849--1999,

PhD Thesis' (Columbia University 2002)

Reyes, AFT, 'English and French Approaches to Personal Laws in South India, 1700-
1850, PhD Thesis' (Cambridge University 1986)

Singh, A, 'The Divergence of the Economic Fortunes of Hindus and Muslims in

British India: A Comparative Institutional Analysis' (PhD Thesis, University of
Southern California 2008)


The Battle of Sexes

Revelations: Jewish Divorce

Divorce Iranian Style

Saving Faces

The World Before Her

A Girl in the River


Database on Muslim Family Law

English and European Case Law

Indian Case Law