Professor Hamoudi received his B.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993, with a double major in Physics and Humanities with a Near Eastern Studies Concentration. He was both a member of the Physics Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma, and a Burchard Scholar for Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 1996, Professor Hamoudi received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. After graduating, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Constance Baker Motley in the Southern District of New York and then worked as an Associate at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton until 2003. In 2003 and 2004, Professor Hamoudi served as a legal advisor to the Finance Committee of the Iraq Governing Council, as well as a Program Manager for a project managed by the International Human Rights Law Institute of DePaul University School of Law to improve legal education in Iraq.
Haider Ala Hamoudi’s scholarship focuses on Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, particularly, but not exclusively, as it pertains to matters of commerce. He has called for a reassessment of the manner in which law in the Muslim world is understood and approached, with less reliance on medieval texts and more emphasis on the positive law of the nation states of the Muslim world and on the political, social, economic and ideological influences that influence its interpretation. He has written for numerous law reviews, spoken at conferences sponsored by the MacMillan Center at Yale University, the American Association of Law Schools and the New York City Bar Association, and given interviews to various news organizations including The New York Times, Forbes.com, Slate.com, the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour Online and the New York Law Journal. In 2009, Professor Hamoudi was awarded the Hessel Yntema prize, awarded by the American Society of Comparative Law for the best article produced in the American Journal of Comparative Law the previous year by an author under the age of 40.
Professor Hamoudi spent most of 2009 in Baghdad advising the Constitutional Review Committee of the Iraqi legislature, responsible for developing critical amendments to the Iraq Constitution deemed necessary for Iraqi national reconciliation, on behalf of the United States Embassy in Baghdad. He also advised on other key pieces of legislation, including a hydrocarbons law, a revenue management law, and an antitrust law. From this work, and from extensive contemporaneous research into the records and legislative history of the drafting of the Iraqi Constitution in 2005, Professor Hamoudi has been spending most of his time preparing a book on the drafting and subsequent evolution of the Iraq Constitution, to be published with the University of Chicago Press.
Professor Hamoudi is also the author of a blog on Islamic Law entitled Islamic Law in Our Times.
- Howling in Mesopotamia, (Beaufort Books, 2008).
- The Surprising Irrelevance of Islamic Bankruptcy, 19 Am. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 505 (2012)
- The American Commercial Religion, 10 DePaul Bus. & Com. L. J. 107 (2012)
- Notes in Defense of the Iraqi Constitution, 32 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 1117 ; 14 U. Pa. J. L. & Soc. Change 395 (2012)
- International Law and Iraqi Courts, International Law in Domestic Courts: Rule of Law Reform in Post-Conflict Societies, (Intersentia, 2012).
- Notes in Defense of the Iraq Constitution, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, (Forthcoming 2011).
- Identitarian Violence and Identitarian Politics: Elections and Governance in Iraq, 51 Harvard Int. L. J. Online 82 (2010).
- Ornamental Repugnancy: Identitarian Islam and the Iraqi Constitution, 7 St. Thomas University Law Review 3 (2010). Available on SSRN.
- The Death of Islamic Law, 38 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 294 (2010). Available on SSRN.
- Dream Palaces of Law: Western Constructions of the Muslim Legal World, 32 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 803-814 (2009).
- Book Review: The Crisis of Islamic Civilization, 47 Osgoode Hall L.J. 159-166 (2009)
- Between Symbiosis and Schizophrenia: The Rights of Iraqi Refugees under Iraqi Law, 34 Rutgers Law Record 31-38 (2009)
- Baghdad Booksellers, Basra Carpet Merchants, and the Law of God and Man: Legal Pluralism and the Contemporary Muslim Experience 1 Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law 1 (Inaugural Issue, 2008).
- The Muezzin’s Call and the Dow Jones Bell: On the Necessity of Realism in the Study of Islamic Law, 56 Am. J. Comp. L. (2008). Available on SSRN.
- You Say You Want a Revolution: Deviationist Doctrine, Interpretive Communities and the Origins of Islamic Finance, 48 Va. J. Int. L. 249 (2008). Available on SSRN.
- Muhammad’s Social Justice or Muslim Cant?: Langdellianism and the Failures of Islamic Finance, 40 Cornell Int. L. Rev. 89 (2007). Available on SSRN.
- Money Laundering Amidst Mortars: Legislative Process and State Authority in Post-Invasion Iraq, 16 Trans. L. & Contemp. Prob. 523 (2007). Available on SSRN.
- Jurisprudential Schizophrenia: Form and Function in Islamic Finance, 7 Chi. J. Int. L. 605 (2006). Available on SSRN.
- Toward a Rule of Law Society in Iraq: Introducing Clinical Legal Education into Iraqi Law Schools, 23 Berkeley J. Int. L. 113 (2005). Available on SSRN.
Presenter, “The Role of NGO’s Toward the Creation of a Culture of Democratization in the Middle East,” Lebanese American Univ. Beirut, (July 2011).
Presenter, “The Surprising Irrelevance of Islamic Bankruptcy,” St. John’s School of Law, (Sept. 2011).
“Islamic Finance and Muslim Belonging,” Aston Univ., (Dec. 2011).
“Transparency, Muslim Jurists and the Shari’a,” American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, (Jan. 2012).
Presenter, “Islamic Law and the Islamic State,” (Keynote Address) West Point Conference on Islam and the Rule of Law, (March 2012).
Selected Professional Activities
- Executive Committee Member, Islamic Law Group of AALS.
- Co-Rapporteur, Islamic Law Section of International Bar Association.
- Member of Executive Committee, Comparative Law Section of AALS.
- Speaker, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Council.
- Speaker, New York City Bar Association, Talk on Democracy and the Shari’a.