Zeina Jallad is a Palestinian lawyer and lecturer-in-law, currently pursuing J.S.D at Columbia Law School.
Dissertation Title: "Human Rights Law at Its Limit: Three Studies"
This dissertation sets out to explore the ways in which the very dynamics that produce the limits of human rights law also enable alternative possibilities for working toward the goals of human rights law. Through careful analysis of three case studies, the dissertation will uncover and explain this curious context, in which the utility of human rights law is exhausted and extra-legal strategies for diminishing human suffering become possible. These case studies are: Analyzing the Corporeal Logic of Law and Social Change in The Arab World: The Case of Bouazizi; Contested Justice, or When Law Fails: Women’s Conceptions of Justice; and Minorities’ Legal Order: Lessons Learned From Samaritan Jews.
Zeina completed her law degree in 2004 as the youngest law graduate from the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan and is admitted to practice law in Palestine. In 2007, she received the Palestinian Rule of Law Grant from the Open Society Institute to pursue her LL.M at Columbia University in the City of New York. Following the completion of her Masters in Law, Zeina joined the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Palestine as the first woman lecturer-in-law. In 2009, she was appointed by the European Union as a Legal Expert and manager for the biggest donor-funded project to develop the Palestinian Bar Association.
Zeina rejoined Columbia University in 2012 as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, where she was affiliated with the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. In the Spring of 2013, she co-taught a course titled "Occupation: Law, Politics, Morality," together with the Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Professor Katherine Franke.
Zeina’s research to date has examined the limits of human rights law, where she analyzes conditions that contribute to the exhaustion of the utility of human rights law and explores possible extra-legal strategies for diminishing human suffering. Her extensive work in the Middle East has examined women’s conceptions of justice, focusing on Palestinian women and their conceptions of justice when faced with both societal and political injustices. She has studied how ordinary women in repressive societies can collectively influence legal policies, through informal, individual acts utilizing the legal systems available to them. Zeina’s broader research areas include the intersection between human rights law, Islamic Law, social studies, gender justice and criminal law.
Updated November 13, 2015