Havva Guney-Ruebenacker

Dr. Havva G. Guney-Ruebenacker is a visiting post-doc researcher at Harvard Law School. Her dissertation is titled “An Islamic Legal Realist Critique of the Traditional Theory of Slavery, Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Law” and it focuses on traditional Islamic law and modern Islamic legal reforms in the area of slavery and family law with a comparative examination of modernization of American family law in the area of no-fault divorce and its economic consequences. In particular, her work examines the ways in which the institution of slavery influenced the structure and content of traditional Islamic legal theory of marriage and divorce, develops a new theory of Islamic Legal Realism that challenges the historical legitimacy of both slavery and women's inequality in traditional Islamic law, and advances a concrete reform proposal for divorce and post-divorce economic rights of women in Islamic law. She studied both major schools of Islamic law (Sunni and Shiite) at a Qur'anic studies school in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and received a BA in Law from the University of Tehran. As a Visiting Assistant Professor, she taught Comparative Family Law and Islamic law at Boston University School of Law and was a teaching fellow at Harvard for classes in American constitutional history and Comparative Family Law. Dr. Guney-Ruebenacker holds S.J.D and LL.M degrees from Harvard and also an LL.M in European Union law and European legal history from University of Cambridge. She was a researcher at the European Court of Human Rights and the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, and was a graduate fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School and Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. She is fluent in Turkish, Arabic and Farsi.