On Wednesday, March 19, Judge Charles N. Brower will give a public speech on international dispute resolution and the Islamic world. Brower, the co-author of “The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal,” was a judge on the tribunal from 1984 to 1988. The event, sponsored by the Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Pound 335.

“The subject of international dispute resolution and the Islamic world has never been more topical or more important,” said Susan Hunt, program administrator for the Islamic Legal Studies Program. “The United States braces for war with Iraq as, simultaneously, diplomats and other experts in international dispute resolution explore last-minute, alternative solutions for disarming Saddam Hussein. A mere eighteen months ago, international attention was on the Islamic world, as we struggled to understand how and why the terrorist attacks of 9/11 could have happened. The emphasis may have shifted from the Islamic world to international dispute resolution, but how to understand them together remains a major task for the early twenty-first century.”

Established in early 1981 as part of the settlement to release the hostages held in the United States Embassy compound in Tehran, the tribunal was and continues to be the mechanism for settling claims that arose from Iranian assets in the U.S. frozen at the start of the hostage crisis in November 1979, and claims of individuals and institutions in the United States against Iran. The tribunal is composed of nine judges, three appointed by Iran, three appointed by the United States, and three from other countries. Brower continues to serve as a tribunal judge on an ad hoc basis.

Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program, established in 1991, is dedicated to achieving excellence in the study of Islamic law through objective and comparative methods. It fosters an atmosphere of open inquiry that embraces many perspectives, both Muslim and non-Muslim. It seeks to promote a deep appreciation of Islamic law as one of the world’s major legal systems. The Brower lecture is the fourth in a series of speeches honoring Ibrahim F.I. Shihata. For more information, please email ilsp@law.harvard.edu.