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Havva Guney-Ruebenacker

Lecturer on Law

Spring 2024

Havva Guney-Ruebenacker
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Dr. Havva Guney-Ruebenacker is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School where she teaches Comparative Family Law. She specializes in American family law, Islamic law and comparative law, and works as a consultant and expert witness in divorce litigation matters involving spousal support, marital property and child custody issues.

Dr. Guney-Ruebenacker’s received her S.J.D from Harvard Law School and her doctoral research is focused on classical Islamic law and modern Islamic legal reforms in the areas 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 her book manuscript, Towards Islamic Legal Realism: Rethinking Slavery, Marriage and Divorce in Islamic Law, she develops a new Islamic legal critique that challenges the legitimacy of both slavery and women’s inequality in traditional Islamic law, advances a new theory for a universal abolition of slavery in Islamic law and offers a concrete reform proposal to achieve women’s equality in divorce and post-divorce property rights in Islamic law.

As a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston University Law School, Dr. Guney-Ruebenacker taught Comparative Family Law and Islamic Law. She also served as a Graduate Fellow at Oxford Center for Islamic Studies at University of Oxford and at Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School and an Associate Research Scholar at the Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School.

Dr. Guney-Ruebenacker studied both major schools of Islamic law, the Sunni and the Shia, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where she graduated from a special Qur’anic studies high school (Madrasat Tahfidh al-Qur’an al-Karim) and received a B.A in Law from the University of Tehran in Iran. She holds an LLM degree from Harvard and an LLM in European Union law and European legal history from University of Cambridge. She is fluent in Turkish, Arabic, and Farsi.