Hauwa Ibrahim is a senior partner at Aries Law Firm. Working as a lead attorney with a team devoted to the cause of human rights for women in Nigeria, she has won a number of precedent-setting cases before Islamic Sharia courts. Ibrahim has been a visiting professor at Saint Louis University School of Law and a World Fellow at Yale University.
While a Radcliffe fellow, Ibrahim will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to delve into the theoretical foundations of Sharia law and examine how they have influenced legal practice, which has, in turn, affected the human rights of women in West Africa. She hopes to publish the results of her research for wide dissemination and for use by legal practitioners who may have the responsibility of interpreting Sharia law.
The European Parliament presented Ibrahim with its 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which honors individuals or organizations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and freedoms. She was cited for her work as defense counsel in about fifty cases that were brought under the aegis of Sharia law, many of which involved women sentenced to death by stoning. Ibrahim has earned an LLB and a master’s in international law and diplomacy from the University of Jos in Nigeria; a BL for legal practice from Nigeria Law School; and a master’s of law degree in international studies at American University’s Washington College of Law.