Khaled M. Abou El Fadl
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic law and Islam, and a prominent scholar in the field of human rights. He is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law where he teaches International Human Rights, Islamic Jurisprudence, National Security Law, Law and Terrorism, Islam and Human Rights, Political Asylum and Political Crimes and Legal Systems. He also holds the Chair in Islam and Citizenship at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Among his many honors and distinctions, Dr. Abou El Fadl was awarded the University of Oslo Human Rights Award, the Leo and Lisl Eitinger Prize in 2007, and named a Carnegie Scholar in Islamic Law in 2005. He was previously appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, and also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch. He continues to serve on the Advisory Board of Middle East Watch (part of Human Rights Watch) and regularly works with human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (Human Rights First) as an expert in a wide variety of cases involving human rights, terrorism, political asylum, and international and commercial law. In 2005, he was also listed as one of LawDragon’s Top 500 Lawyers in the Nation.
A prolific scholar and prominent public intellectual, Dr. Abou El Fadl is the author of 14 books (five forthcoming) and over 50 articles on various topics in Islam and Islamic law. He has lectured on and taught Islamic law throughout the United States and Europe in academic and non-academic environments for over twenty years. His work has been translated into numerous languages including Arabic, Persian, French, Norwegian, Dutch, Ethiopian, Russian, and Japanese, among others.
Dr. Abou El Fadl is most noted for his scholarly approach to Islam from a moral point of view. He writes extensively on universal themes of humanity, morality, human rights, justice, and mercy, and is well known for his writings on beauty as a core moral value of Islam. He is one of the foremost critics of puritan and Wahhabi Islam. Dr. Abou El Fadl has appeared on national and international television and radio, and published widely in such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Review and many others.
Professor Abou El Fadl is the founding Advisory Board Member of the UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law (JINEL), and an Editorial Board Member for Political Theology, the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Islamic Law and Society, the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, and Hawa: Journal of Women of Middle East and the Islamic World,among others. He also serves as an Advisory Board member for the University of Adelaide Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion (RUSSLR) in Australia; the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Islam Initiative Publications Project; the Harvard Press Series on Islamic Law; and the Journal of Islamic Studies (Islamabad), among others.
His most recent works focus on authority, human rights, democracy and beauty in Islam and Islamic law. His book, The Great Theft, was the first work to delineate the key differences between moderate and extremist Muslims, and was named one of the Top 100 Books of the year by Canada’s Globe and Mail(Canada’s leading national newspaper). His book, The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books, is a landmark work in modern Muslim literature.
Dr. Abou El Fadl holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Islamic law from Princeton University. Dr. Abou El Fadl is also an Islamic jurist and scholar, having received 13 years of systematic instruction in Islamic jurisprudence, grammar and eloquence in Egypt and Kuwait. After law school, he clerked for Arizona Supreme Court Justice James Moeller, and practiced immigration and investment law in the U.S. and the Middle East. He previously taught Islamic law at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, Yale Law School and Princeton University.
Asli Ü. Bâli
Professor Bâli is Assistant Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. She teaches Public International Law, International Human Rights and a seminar on the Laws of War. She joined the UCLA Law School faculty from Yale Law School where she was the Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow in Law, and coordinator of the Middle East Legal Forum.
Bâli graduated summa cum laude from Williams College and went on to earn an M.Phil. degree from Emmanuel College at Cambridge University where she studied social and political theory as a Dr. Herchel Smith Scholar. She earned her J.D. from the Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journaland the Yale Journal of International Lawand as articles editor of the Yale Journal of Human Rights & Development. Bâli also completed an M.P.A. degree at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs jointly with her law degree. During her time at Yale, Bâli worked for the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and as an immigration advocate at the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization.
After graduating from law school Bâli practiced law for five years with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York and Paris, where she represented both corporate and pro bono clients. Her practice specialized in a wide range of legal issues from transnational mergers and acquisitions to project financing in Latin America, immigration law and international human rights. Bâli returned to academia from law practice to earn her Ph.D. in the Department of Politics at Princeton University with a dissertation focused on enforcement issues in the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty system.
Bâli’s current research interests focus on public international law generally, including the intersection of international law and international relations, as well as issues of non-proliferation, human rights and humanitarian law. She also has a strong interest in the comparative law of the Middle East. Recent work includes Pax Arabica?: Provisional Sovereignty and Intervention in the Arab Uprisings(2012); The Perils of Judicial Independence: Constitutional Transition and the Turkish Example(2012); Beyond Legality and Legitimacy: Intervention and the Eroding Norm of Nonproliferation(chapter in a collected volume) (2011); American Overreach: Strategic Interests and Millennial Ambitions in the Middle East, (co-authored with Aziz Rana) (2010); and From Subjects to Citizens? The Shifting Paradigm of Electoral Authoritarianism in the Middle East(2009).