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All institutions concerned with the process of judging - whether it be deciding between alternative courses of action, determining a judge’s professional integrity, assigning culpability for an alleged crime, or ruling on the credibility of an asylum claimant - are necessarily directly concerned with the question of doubt. By putting ritual and judicial settings into comparative perspective, in contexts as diverse as Indian and Taiwanese divination and international cricket, as well as legal processes in France, the UK, India, Denmark, and Ghana, this book offers a comprehensive and novel perspective on techniques for casting and dispelling doubt, and the roles they play in achieving verdicts or decisions that appear both valid and just. Broadening the theoretical understandings of the social role of doubt, both in social science and in law, the authors present these understandings in ways that not only contribute to academic knowledge but are also useful to professionals and other participants engaged in the process of judging. This collection will consequently be of great interest to academics researching in the fields of legal anthropology, ritual studies, legal sociology, criminology, and socio-legal studies.
This book takes us far beyond the usual focus of comparative law with analysis of a broad range of jurisdictions, including mixtures of common and civil law, and also those mixing Islamic and/or traditional legal systems with those derived from common and/or civil law traditions. The discussion is situated within the broader context of the continuing tides of globalization, the emergence of Islamic governments in some parts of the Middle East, the calls for a legal status for Islamic law in some European countries, and the increasing focus on traditional and customary norms of governance in post-colonial contexts.

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