Northeastern University School of Law

Hauwa Ibrahim will deliver the 2009 Gordon Lecture:  Working Within the Law - Defending Women in Shariah Courts: Experiences, Strategies and Challenges

Join us for the 2009 Gordon Lecture on Friday, April 17, 2009, Room 220 Dockser Hall, at noon.

Hauwa Ibrahim is a senior partner and the pro bono legal aid counsel in the general law practice of the Aires Law Firm, located in Garki Abuja, Nigeria. Working as lead attorney with a team devoted to the cause of human rights for women in Nigeria, she has won a number of precedent-setting cases before Islamic Sharia courts.

Ms. Ibrahim was propelled into the international limelight in 2001, when she represented Safiya Hussaini, a pregnant woman who was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Pursuant to the Sharia Penal Code, which several northern states in Nigeria have adopted, pregnancy outside of marriage constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery. Ms. Ibrahim and her team obtained an acquittal based upon substantive and procedural due process arguments, sparing the Hussaini’s life.

Ms. Ibrahim is a 2008-2009 Radliffe Institute Fellow. In 2005, the European Parliament presented Ms. Ibrahim with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in recognition of her defense work in almost 50 cases involving women sentenced under the aegis of Sharia law.