Emory International Law Review


In 2002, Muslim activists in Lagos State took it upon themselves to set up what amounts to a private arbitration tribunal'the Independent Sharia Panel ('ISP') of Lagos State'to which Muslims are invited to submit their disputes for adjudication under Islamic law. The primary aim of this Essay is to describe the Lagos ISP itself: who is behind it, what it is, and how it is getting along in the world. The larger setting must remain in the background: Lagos State as part of Nigeria's predominantly Yoruba southwest; how Islamic law was squeezed out of the southwestern courts over many years, despite the large percentages of Muslims among the Yoruba; and the long history of failed attempts by activists to persuade the authorities pro tem to correct this anomaly by establishing Sharia courts for the use of Muslims.