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Expert in internationl rule of law programs and a researcher in the Middle Eatern and Islamic Criminal Justice Systems


Born in 1970 in Dashtestan- Iran I completed a BA and LLM in Islamic Studies and Criminal Law at Imam Sadiq University in Tehran and my PhD on comparative criminal law in Iran and then continued in Germany (2002). My special interest is on sentencing and sanction system in the Middle Eastern societies with focus on the role of Sharia criminal law in post revolutionary Iran.
Since 1995 my academic studies have been continuously focused on the interrelationships of Islamic jurisprudence and modern criminal justice. From 1999, I have continued my work in Freiburg at the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, where I continued working until 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow in comparative criminal law and criminology. Based in Freiburg, since 2003 I was directing the project entitled "Iran-German Dialogue on Crime, Criminal Justice and Criminology"
From 1995 to 2002 I was mainly focused on study and research about the specific question of stability and change in Islamic Law with a comparative view from the contemporary criminal theories. My thesis argues that if we are to understand how Islamic states operate in real politics we should focus on a critical assessment of the origins of Islamic law and its relation to political power in the modern Muslim majority societies. In another word, without a profound understanding of legal and political tradition in Islam we cannot hope to quell the region’s intolerable level of violence.

Later between 2005 and 2009 I also researched on the topic of violent conflict in the Middle Eastern societies and the role played by Muslim jurists, rulers, and theologians. My research has touched on aspects of criminal law and criminal policy in dealing with political violence in such Muslim societies of the Middle East.
Within this project in that years at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg, I was particularly looking at indigenous alternatives to criminal punishment in Islamic cultures. I was and still am seeking to trace existing mechanisms, both formal and informal, for resolving violent disputes, and so considered mediation, arbitration, customary justice, indigenous practices, and traditional methods of reconciliation used to facilitate coexistence and peace and to redress wrongs done to victims. For this project I helped organize two international conferences on this topic, one in Turkey (Istanbul 2003) and one in Germany (Bamberg 2004), which brought together a good number of Middle Eastern scholars working on conflict resolution. The results of this program was published under this title: H. Rezaei et al (Hrsg.) Conflicts and Conflict Resolution in Middle Eastern Societies - Between Tradition and Modernity, Max-Planck Institut and Duncker & Humblot, Freiburg and Berlin, April 2006.

In 2004-2005 I was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Library of Congress's Kluge Center, where I studied the effects of Sharia criminal law in the context of modern Muslim societies.

I have published/co-published books and several articles and research reports in English, Arabic and Persian concerning the Death Penalty, Freedom Discourse in Quran, Role of Exigencies of Time and Space in the Development of Islamic Criminal Law, Islamic Criminal Law in modern world, Islamization of Criminal Justice System in Iran, Criminal Law and Political Opposition, Sentencing System in Iran and Germany, Islamic Sharia in Cyberspace, Maslaha in Islamic Jurisprudence and Violence against Women in Fundamentalist Readings of Sharia.

From June 2008 to now I am working for with the DPKO/UN as the rule of law officer. From 2008 to 2012 I was in Afghanistan (with UNDP and UNAMA in Afghanistan as Provincial Justice Reconstruction Coordinator in Northwest Region of the country) and since Sep. 2012 work as a judicial affairs officer with focus on reform of criminal justice within the UN Mission in Libya/UNSMIL.


rule of law assistance in post conflict settings, judicial reform, criminal law theory; comparative sentencing; human rights; reform of the criminal justice in contemporary Muslim societies