International law, international courts, territorial disputes
The defining theme of my research is the linkage between domestic legal systems, international law, and international courts. In general, my scholarship bridges the gap between International Relations and International Law literatures by empirically assessing the relationship between legal institutions – both domestic and international – and political phenomena, such as countries’ behavior. My work focuses on how domestic legal traditions, such as civil, common, and Islamic law impact the way that countries behave on the international arena, particularly towards international courts and other venues for peaceful resolution of disputes (a book co-authored with Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts, Cambridge University Press, 2011) My research agenda covers several international courts, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, as well as several substantive areas of international law, especially the law of territorial sovereignty, diplomatic immunity, and human rights.
The Islamic legal tradition and international law
The central area of my research is the link between the Islamic legal tradition and international law. My book (2019, Oxford University Press), Islamic Law and International Law: Peaceful Resolution of Disputes is a comprehensive exploration of this topic. There are twenty-nine Islamic law states (ILS) in the world today, and they constitute not only a substantial portion of the United Nations’ membership, but a significant voice in today’s international relations. Do Islamic law states avoid international courts? Is the Islamic legal tradition ab initio incompatible with international law? More specifically, how can we frame, understand, and define the relationship between the Islamic world and international law in the context of peaceful resolution of disputes?