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Intisar A. Rabb

Intisar Rabb received her JD from Yale Law School, and is a PhD Candidate at Princeton University, where she is writing a dissertation on legal maxims in comparative American and Islamic law. After completing law school, and prior to returning to Princeton, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Intisar A. Rabb is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. She also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University and as a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She previously served as an Associate Professor at NYU Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and at NYU Law School, and as an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School; and teaches courses in criminal law, legislation and theories of statutory interpretation, and Islamic law. She also served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a Temple Bar Fellow in London with the American Inns of Court, and as a 2010 Carnegie Scholar for her work on contemporary Islamic law reform.

In 2015, she received awards from the Luce Foundation and the MacArthur Foundations for SHARIAsource – an online portal for content and context on Islamic law, designed to make available primary sources as well as informed scholarly commentary about them freely available. She has published on Islamic law in historical and modern contexts, including the monograph, Doubt in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press 2015), an edited volume, Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought (with Michael Cook et al., Palgrave 2013), and numerous articles on Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic legal maxims, and on the early history of the Qur’an text. She received a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Yale Law School, and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. She has conducted research in Egypt, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere.

Education
Ph.D. (Islamic Law), Princeton University, 2009; J.D., Yale Law School, 2006; M.A. (Near Eastern Studies), Princeton University, 2005; B.A./B.S. (Government and Arabic), Georgetown University, with honors, 1999.

Current Courses

  • Digital Islamic Law Lab: Online Analysis of Islamic Legislation and Interpretation, Fall 2017
  • Introduction to Islamic Law, Fall 2017
  • The Comparative and International Law Workshop, Fall 2017

Areas of Interest

  • Legislation: Statutory Interpretation
  • Comparative and Foreign Law: Islamic Legal Studies
  • Criminal Law and Procedure

Academic Appointment and Employment History

  • Associate Professor, New York University School of Law & Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (2013 – 2014)
    New York, New York
  • Assistant Professor, Boston College Law School (2010 – 2012)
    Newton, Massachusetts

Bar Admissions

  • New York, United States (2008)
  • New Jersey, United States (2007)

Board Memberships

  • Advisory Board, Journal of Islamic Law and Society (2011 – Present)
  • Editorial Board, Law and Social Inquiry (2013 – Present)
  • Chair, Section on Islamic Law, American Association of Law Schools (2015 – 2016)
  • Islamic Law and Society Collaborative Research Network Co-Chair, Law and Society Association (2012 – Present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization (2014 – Present)
  • Chair, Section on Comparative Law, American Association of Law Schools (2014 – 2015)
  • Program Committee Co-Chair, American Society for Legal History (2012 – 2013)
  • Executive Board Nominating Committee, Middle East Studies Association (2012 – 2013)
  • Board of Directors, American Society for Legal History (2017 – Present)
  • Law and History Review, Editorial Board (2017 – Present)

Clerkships

  • Hon. Thomas L. Ambro, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2006 – 2007

Education History

  • Ph.D. Islamic Law Princeton University, 2009
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 2006
  • M.A. Near Eastern Studies Princeton University, 2005
  • B.S. Government & Arabic Georgetown University, 1999

Honors and Awards

  • MacArthur Foundation Grant for SHARIAsource (Awards)
    September 2015
  • Henry R. Luce Foundation Grant for SHARIAsource (Awards)
    June 2015
  • Carnegie Scholar (Awards)
    January 2010

Publication

Book: Doubt in Islamic Law: A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law (Cambridge Univ. Press 2015).

Article: The Least Religious Branch? The New Islamic Constitutionalism after the Arab Spring, 17 UCLA J. Int’l L. & Foreign Aff. 75 (2013).

Article: The Islamic Rule of Lenity, 44 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 1299 (2011)

Article: We the Jurists’: Islamic Constitutionalism in Iraq, 10 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 527 (2008).

Article: Intisar A. Rabb & Sharon Tai, Digital Islamic Law: Purpose and Prospects, 50 Int’l J. Middle E. Stud. 113 (2018).

Book: The Curious Case of Bughaybigha, 661–883: Land and Leadership in Early Islamic Societies, in Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts 23 (Intisar A. Rabb & Agigail Krasner Balbale eds., 2017).

Book: Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (Intisar A. Rabb & Abigail Krasner Balbale eds., Harvard Series in Islamic Law, Nov. 2017).

Book: Confession, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three (Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas & Everett Rowson eds., Brill 2017).

Book: Society and Propriety: The Cultural Construction of Defamation and Blasphemy as Crimes in Islamic Law, in Accusations of Unbelief in Islam: A Diachronic Perspective on Takfir 434 (Sabine Schmidtke et al. eds., 2016).

Article: “Reasonable Doubt” in Islamic Law, 40 Yale J. Int’l L. 41 (2015).

Article: Intisar A. Rabb, Against Kadijustiz: On the Negative Citation of Foreign Law, 48 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 343 (2015).

Article: Internal Reform of Islamic Family Law Through Evolving Standards of Religion, JOTWELL (Sept. 13, 2013)(reviewing John Hursh, Advancing Women’s Rights Through Islamic Law: The Example of Morocco, 27 Berkeley J. Gender L. & Just. 252 (2012)).

Book: Islamic Legal Minimalism: Legal Maxims and Lawmaking When Jurists Disappear, in Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought 145 (Michael Cook et al. eds., 2013).

Book: Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought: Studies in Honor of Professor Hossein Modarressi (Intisar A. Rabb, Michael Cook, Najam Haider & Asma Sayeed eds., Palgrave MacMillan 2013).

Book: Governance (al-Siyāsa al-Sharʿiyya), in in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought 197 (Gerhard Böwering et al. eds., 2013).

Book: Police, in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought 427 (Gerhard Böwering et al. eds., 2013).

Book: Negotiating Speech in Islamic Law and Politics: Flipped Traditions of Expression, in Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law 144 (Anver M. Emon, Mark Ellis & Benjamin Glahn eds., 2012).

Article: Islamic Legal Maxims as Substantive Canons of Construction: Hudūd-Avoidance in Cases of Doubt, 17 J. Islamic L. & Soc. 63 (2010).

Book: Administrative Decrees of the Political Authorities (Qanun): The Mamluk Period, in Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History v. 1, at 33 (Stanley Katz et al eds., 2009).

Book: Fiqh [Islamic Law Doctrine], in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World 2, at 255 (John Esposito ed., 2009).

Book: Ijtihad [Islamic Jurisprudence], in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World v. 2, at 522 (John Esposito ed., 2009).

Book: Law: Civil Law, in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World v. 3, at 410 (John Esposito ed., 2009).

Book: Law: Courts, in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World v. 3, at 413 (John Esposito ed., 2009).

Article: Non-Canonical Readings of the Qurʾān: Recognition & Authenticity, 8 J. Qurʾānic Stud. 84 (2006).

Book: Marriage: Islamic, in Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (Josef Meri ed., Routledge 2005).

Article: Book Review, 30 Yale J. Int’l L. 343 (2005) (reviewing Lessons in Islamic Jurisprudence (Muḥammad Bāqir aṣ-Ṣadr auth., Roy Mottahedeh trans., 2003)).

Article: Book Review, 27 Yale J. Int’l L. 233 (2002) (reviewing Giving Meaning to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Isfahan Merali & Valerie Oosterveld eds., 2001)).

Article: Book Review, 30 Yale J. Int’l L. 343 (2005) (reviewing Lessons in Islamic Jurisprudence (Muḥammad Bāqir aṣ-Ṣadr auth., Roy Mottahedeh trans., 2003)).

Article: Book Review, 27 Yale J. Int’l L. 233 (2002) (reviewing Giving Meaning to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Isfahan Merali & Valerie Oosterveld eds., 2001)).

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