Human Rights Lunch Talk: Law and Subordination: How Israeli Law Subordinates the Palestinians

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102B
Oct 10
Thursday, October 10th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102B

Speaker: Dr. Nimer Sultany, Reader in Public Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Introduced by Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Faculty Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, Columbia Law School. 

In this talk, Dr. Sultany examines the role of Israeli law in advancing, justifying, and perpetuating a separate and inferior status for the Palestinians, whether citizens in Israel or residents in the Occupied Territories. The talk will focus in particular on the contributing role of the legal system to the systematic disadvantaging of the Palestinian citizens in Israel. Israeli legal structures, including the Supreme Court, have facilitated the dispossession of Palestinian citizens' land, the establishment of inferior and differentiated citizenship, and the segregation of Arabs from Jews in housing and education. The legal and judicial deployment of seemingly neutral and technical legal categories effectively obscures this subordination while simultaneously justifying, shaping, and advancing it.

Dr. Sultany holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School and was the recipient of the British Academy Fellowship (2016-2017) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SUNY Buffalo Law School (2012-2013). He practiced human rights law in Israel/Palestine and was the director of the Political Monitoring Project at Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Centre for Applied Social Research. He published extensively on constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and Israeli jurisprudence. His book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press) won the 2018 Book Prize awarded by the International Society of Public Law and the 2018 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship awarded by the Society of Legal Scholars. His other publications include: “The State of Progressive Constitutional Theory: The Paradox of Constitutional Democracy and the Project of Political Justification” in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review; “Against Conceptualism: Islamic Law, Democracy, and Constitutionalism in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring” in the Boston University International Law Journal; “What Good is Abstraction? From Liberal Legitimacy to Social Justice” in the Buffalo Law Review; and “Activism and Legitimation in Israel's Jurisprudence of Occupation” in Social & Legal Studies.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia University Palestine and Law Program, and Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute, Middle Eastern Law Students Association, and Columbia Law Students for Palestine. It is supported by the F. F. Randolph, Jr. Speakers Fund.

All are welcome and lunch will be provided. 

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