Boston University School of Law

Susan M. Akram

Clinical Professor of Law
BA, with honors, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
JD, Georgetown University Law Center
Diplome in International Human Rights, Institut International des Droits de l’Homme, Strasbourg (France)

Full CV

Phone: 617-353-3148

Areas of Interest:
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Refugee Law
  • Domestic and International Refugee Advocacy
  • Immigration Law
Recent Course Topics:
  • International Human Rights
  • Comparative Refugee Law
  • Human Rights Lawyering
  • Immigration Law



Professor Susan Akram directs BU Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, in which she supervises students engaged in international advocacy in domestic, international, regional, and UN fora. Her research and publications focus on immigration, asylum, refugee, forced migration and human and civil rights issues, with an interest in the Middle East, the Arab, and Muslim world.

Akram's distinguished research was recognized with a Fulbright Senior Scholar Teaching and Research Award for the 1999–2000 academic year. She has lectured on Palestinian refugees to general audiences around the world as well as to committees of the United Nations (including the High Commission for Refugees and the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), the European Union, and representatives of European and Canadian government ministries and parliaments. Since September 11, 2001 she has presented widely on the USA Patriot Act and immigration-related laws and policies as well as on her work challenging standard interpretations of women’s asylum claims from the Arab/Muslim world.

With her clinic students as well as in collaboration with other legal organizations, Akram has worked on resettlement and refugee claims of Guantanamo detainees, and has been co-counsel on a number of high profile cases, including the 20+-year litigation of a case of first impression on the interpretation of one of the exclusion bars to asylum, In Re A-H-. She has taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and at Al-Quds and Birzeit Universities in Palestine. She regularly teaches in the summer institute on forced migration at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, and in various venues in the Middle East on refugee law.

Selected Publications

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International LawDynamics of Constituinalism in the Age of GlobalisationInternational Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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