Intisar Rabb

Intisar Rabb - Professor of Law; Co-Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program ON LEAVE 2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR

Harvard Law School

Claire Riley


Intisar A. Rabb, a leading expert on Islamic Law and legal history, joined the faculty of Harvard Law School in January, 2014, with an appointment as a tenured Professor of Law. At HLS, she also becomes a faculty director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program.

Rabb was previously associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Law at New York University School of Law, where she held a joint appointment at the NYU Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department and the NYU School of Law.  In 2012, Rabb served as a visiting associate professor of law at Harvard Law School. From 2011 to 2013, she was a fellow at HLS's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where she worked with a team to develop an online database aimed at connecting legal scholars and media producers with credible, authoritative information about trends in Islamic law. In 2010, she was named a Carnegie Scholar for her research on "Islamic Law and Legal Change: The Internal Critique," which examines criminal law reform in the Muslim world.

Rabb holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies (with a focus on Islamic Law) from Princeton University. Her dissertation, which won the Princeton NES Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Thesis Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation, focused on the history and function of legal maxims in Islamic law. In addition to her Ph.D., Rabb earned a B.S. from Georgetown University in Government and Arabic in 1999, a M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton in 2005 and a J.D. from Yale Law School, in 2006.

Her publications include: "The Burden and Benefit of Doubt: Legal Maxims in Early Islamic Law" (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014); "Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought," co-edited with Michael Cook, Najam Haider, and Asma Sayeed, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) and "Qāḍī Justice: Courts and The Administration of Justice in Early Islamic Law and Society" (Cambridge University Press, under contract).

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