LAPA Student Forum Dinners are held once each month at Prospect House. Invitations for these dinners go out to students who are registered on the LAPA undergraduate listserv and spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
This month’s guest is Professor Chibli Mallat, LAPA Fellow and Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School. At home in Beirut, Chibli Mallat is the EU Jean Monnet Chair of European Law and Director, European Union Center, St. Joseph's University, Beirut, Lebanon. He is also a candidate for the Presidency of Lebanon and principal in the Mallat Law Offices, Beirut.
Before returning to his native Lebanon in 1996, he was Director of the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL) in the School of Oriental and African Studies (S.O.A.S.) at the University of London. He is the editor of over twenty books, and author of Introduction to Middle Eastern Law (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2007); Democracy in America (Beirut, Nahar, in Arabic 2001); Presidential Choices (Beirut, 1998); The Middle East into the 21st Century (Garnet, 1996) and The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhamad Baqer as-Sadr, Najaf, and the Shi'i International (Cambridge University Press, 1993), which won the 1993-4 Albert Hourani award of the North American Middle East Studies Association. In addition, his articles in English, French and Arabic have been published in academic journals around the world and he served as a joint general editor for five volumes of the Yearbook on Islamic and Middle Eastern Law.
In his law practice, he is perhaps best known for bringing the case of Victims of Sabra and Shatila v. Ariel Sharon et al. under the law of universal jurisdiction in Belgium, where he won a judgment against the accused before a change in Belgian law removed the jurisdiction of the court.
As a democratic activist, he was involved with the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein, even spending time in an Iranian jail after organising international monitoring of the first free elections ever in Iraq, in May 1992. Mallat helped establish the ME regional office of Amnesty International in Beirut in 1999 for which his office has acted since as its legal counsel. He is a frequent op-ed contributor in newspapers ranging from the Nahar (Lebanon) to the New York Times, and has held research and teaching positions at Yale Law School, Virginia Law School, the U. of Lyon, the Library of Congress, the Islamic University in Lebanon and the U. of California Boalt School of Law. He is currently at Princeton University where he is a Visiting Professor in the Woodrow Wilson School, Fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Fellow in the University Center for Human Values, Fellow in the Program in International and Regional Studies and a Distinguished Visitor in the Bobst Center for Peace and Justice.
For more on Chibli Mallat, see his LAPA page.