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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 21 (2003) Balancing Act

The Intersection of Islam and the WTO: Three Sharī’a Issues in the WTO Accession of Saudi Arabia

Raj Bhala is the Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas. At Kansas, he teaches courses in inter­national trade regulation and Islamic law. Raj has worked in 18 different countries and lectured around the world. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, England’s Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and the American Law Institute. He has consulted for the World Bank, IMF, Govern­ment of Laos, Saudi Aramco, and the US–Vietnam Trade Council, and been a Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan. His text, International Trade Law (2nd ed, 2001), is a leading casebook, used at around 100 law schools in the US and abroad.

The application of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to accede to the WTO, lodged in 1993, has raised important issues at the intersection of international trade law and Islamic law. These issues include the treatment of forbidden products, the zakāt tax and the offering of certain controversial service products. This article reviews those issues, setting out the rudiments of the Sharī’a teachings and the rele­vant trade law obligations.

(2003) 21 Law in Context 152

   
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