Laila al-Zwaini (MA LL.M Dip.Law) is a Dutch-Iraqi arabist and jurist, specializing in classical and modern shari`a, Arab tribalism, rule of law, legal pluralism, non-state justice, Islamic religious authority, human rights, Muslim women’s empowerment, and madaniya (civilism) in the Arab and Muslim world.
She works as university lecturer, independent scholar, trainer, and advisor to international organizations and governments, and contributes to public forums, the media, art festivals, and policy development.
Between 2007 and 2009, Ms Al-Zwaini headed the Rule of Law Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. From 2001-2005 she co-directed the action-research project “Rights at Home” for the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Leiden). This project engaged Muslim intellectuals, women’s rights trainers, and young community leaders from Africa, the Middle East and Asia towards positive social change.
Previously, Ms. Al-Zwaini spent extensive periods for rule of law-related field research and practice in the Middle East, especially Yemen, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iraq.