Boston University School of Law

Havva G. Guney-Ruebenacker


University of Tehran, Faculty of Law and Political Science
LL.B., 2000

Harvard Law School
LL.M., 2001
Focus: International Human Rights Law, Gender and Law, Legal Theory

University of Cambridge, Newnham College
LL.M., 2003
Focus: European Union Law, European Legal History

University of Oxford, Wolfson College
Post-graduate Fellow, 2004
Worked as a post-graduate fellow at Oxford Center for Islamic Studies and conducted research on the first codification of Islamic civil law; the Ottoman Civil Code (Majalla).

Harvard Law School
S.J.D. Candidate, 2004-present
Writing a doctoral thesis on Islamic family law reform in the area of marriage and divorce and the relationship between classical Islamic family law and the law of property and slavery, with a comparative examination of modernization of family law in American and European legal systems, especially in the area of no-fault divorce and its economic consequences.


Boston University School of Law
Visiting Assistant Professor (Sept 2009-May 2010)
Teaching two seminars on comparative family law and Islamic law.

Harvard Law School
Teaching Assistant (Sept. 2006-Dec. 2006)
Co-taught Comparative Family Law course with Professor Janet Halley on Egyptian and Anglo-American family law.

Harvard College
Teaching Fellow (Sept. 2005-Jan 2006)
Worked as a teaching fellow for the course American Constitutional History from the Framing to the Present taught by Professor Morton Horwitz.

European Court of Human Rights
(April-June 2002)
Conducted legal research for Judge Lucius Caflisch on issues related to the European Convention

Harvard Law School
Visiting Researcher (Sept 2001-April 2002)
Wrote a paper on the Ottoman codification movement in comparison with the nineteenth-century American codification movement.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Geneva
(June-Aug 2001)
Legal Researcher at the Center for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers for the annual publication Attacks on Justice.

Works in Progress

"An Islamic Legal Realist Critique of the Traditional Theory of Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Law" (in progress)

"Form and Substance in No-Fault Divorce and Bargaining Under Its Shadow: The American, European and Islamic Triangle" (in progress)

Fellowships & Awards

  • Islamic Legal Studies Program Graduate Fellowship, Harvard Law School, 2009-2010
  • The Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellowships in Ethics, Harvard University, 2008-2009
  • European Law Research Center Fellowship, Harvard Law School, 2007-2008
  • Graduate Program Fellowship, Harvard Law School, 2004-2008
  • OSI Chevening Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge, 2002-2003
  • The Kassal Human Rights Summer Internship, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School, 2001

Teaching & Reasearch Interests

American Family law, Comparative Family Law, European Union Law, European Legal History, Islamic Law, Islamic Family Law, Islamic Legal Theory, Feminist Legal Theory, Women and Law, Legal Theory, Legal History, International Human Rights Law, Law and Religion