The Consultative Committee

Ayelet Shachar

Ayelet Shachar is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, where she heads the Ethics, Law, and Politics Department at the Institute. Before joining the Max Planck Society, Shachar held the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism at the University of Toronto Faculty Law, and was also the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. She earned her LL.M. and J.S.D from Yale University.

She has published and lectured widely on citizenship theory, immigration law, multiculturalism, cultural diversity and women’s rights, law and religion in comparative perspective, highly skilled migration and global inequality. Shachar is the author of Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights (Cambridge, 2001), for which she won the American Political Science Association 2002 Foundations of Political Theory Section Best First Book Award. This work has inspired a new generation of thinking about how to best mitigate tensions between gender equality and religious diversity. It has also proved influential in the real world, influencing public policy and legislative debates. It was cited, most recently, by England’s Archbishop of Canterbury and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Her book The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality (Harvard, 2009) was named 2010 International Ethics Notable Book in recognition of its “superior scholarship and contribution to the field of international ethics.” She is the recipient of excellence and research awards in three different countries: Canada, Israel, and the United States. Before entering academia, Shachar was law clerk to Chief Justice Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. She is an elected member of the editorial board of six peer-reviewed journals in her field and has provided pro-bono advice to non-governmental organizations specializing in citizenship, immigration and religious toleration, as well as the World Bank.

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Christian Tietje

Christian Tietje is Professor (tenure) for European Law and International Economic Law, director of the Institute for Economic Law, director of the Transnational Economic Law Research Center (TELC), and head of the graduate program “Global Financial Markets” ( at the Faculty of Law at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. His primary research interests lay in the areas of EU foreign commercial policy law and international economic law (world trade law and investment protection and arbitration).

Christian Tietje received his legal education at the Universities of Kiel/Germany, Paris V, and University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor. He holds two German law degrees with distinction from 1993/1998, was awarded the degree of Master of Laws with distinction in 1995, and received his Dr. jur. (Ph.D.) with distinction in 1997, and his Dr. jur. habil. in 2000.

He has published several books and more than 100 articles, mostly on international economic law, and has commissioned and managed several larger research projects (DFG, Stiftung Geld und Währung, German Marshall Fund, etc.). Moreover, he has advised Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, business associations and multilateral companies in the above mentioned research areas. He has been appointed legal expert in several investment arbitrations, is leading a working group of the investment law committee of the German branch of the International Law Association (ILA) dealing with the relationship of international investment law and general public international law, and is a member of the “ILA Study Group on the Role of Soft Law Instruments in International Investment Law”.

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Nadjma Yassari

Nadjma Yassari, born 1971 in Teheran, Iran, studied law at the Universities of Vienna, Paris and Innsbruck (1989-95). In 1998 she was conferred a Master of International Business Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Her doctorate was awarded in 1999 at the University of Innsbruck based on her work titled: “The Concept of Freedom of Contract in Islamic and Western Legal Cultures”. This was followed in 2000-2001 with the study of Arabic at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Damascus, Syria.

In February 2000 Nadjma Yassari assumed her activities as research fellow responsible for the law of Islamic countries at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The emphasis of her research is on the international and national private law of Islamic countries in the Near and Middle East as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2009 she is the Leader of a Max Planck Research Group on Family and Succession Law of Islamic Countries.

She is past chairperson of the German-Iranian Law Association (DIJV), and a member of the board of trustees of the Asso­ci­a­tion for Ara­bic and Islamic Law (GAIR). From 2006-2010 she was a member of the German-Islam Conference of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Additionally, Dr. Yassari provides German courts with expert opinions on the family and succession laws of Islamic countries.

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Vladimiro Zagrebelsky

Vladimiro Zagrebelsky is director of the Fundamental Rights Laboratory (LDF) in Torino (Italy) and a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights (2001-2010). Born in Torino in 1940, he graduated in Law from the University of Torino (1963), where he became adjunct professor (Libero docente) of Criminal Law in 1970. From 1965 to 2001, he worked as a public prosecutor and judge in Italy and was appointed Judge of the Italian Corte di Cassazione in 2000. He was also a member of the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura (Italian Superior Judicial Council) in the years 1981 to 1985 and 1994 to 1998. He served as head of the Legislative Office of the Italian Ministry of Justice (1998-2001) and as chairman of the United Nations Commission for the Prevention of Crime (Vienna, 2000-2001). He has also chaired and been a member of several Ministerial Committees.

Dr Zagrebelsky has published several works in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, the Judiciary, and Human Rights, such as La magistratura ordinaria dalla Costituzione a oggi, Legge, Diritto, Giustizia, Torino, Einaudi, 1998; “Corte, convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo e sistema europeo di protezione dei diritti fondamentali”, in La Corte costituzionale compie cinquant’anni, Foro italiano, 2006; “Questions autour de Bromiowski”, in Liber Amicorum Luzius Wildhaber. Human Rights – Strasbourg Views. Droits de l’homme – Regards de Strasbourg, Kehl-Strasbourg-Arlington, N.P. Engel, 2007; Diritti dell’Uomo e Libertà Fondamentali. La giurisprudenza della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo e della Corte di giustizia delle Comunità europee, 3 vols, Milano, Giuffrè ed., 2006-2008 (with M. de Salvia); “L’avvenire del sistema europeo di protezione dei diritti umani affidato per ora al Protocollo n. 14 bis”, Diritti umani e diritto internazionale, 3 (2009): 469-74; “Considérations sur les sources d’inspiration et la motivation des arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme”, Festschrift für Renate Jaeger. Grundrechte und Solidarität, N.P. Engel Verlag, Kehl am Rhein, 2010, p.211-224; Commentario breve alla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo, Padova, Cedam, 2012 (with S. Bartole and P. De Sena).

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Olaf Zenker

Olaf Zenker is Professor and Chair at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany). After earning master’s degrees in Social Anthropology (LSE) and Linguistics & Literature (University of Hamburg), he did his PhD at the Integration and Conflict Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Martin Luther University in Halle in 2008, and subsequently became a post-doctoral fellow in the Max Planck Fellow Group Law, Organisation, Science and Technology (LOST). In 2009, he joined the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern as Assistant Professor, where he also held an Ambizione Research Fellowship (SNSF) from 2012 to 2014, and received his Habilitation in Social Anthropology in 2015. Apart from Visiting Fellowships at the Departments of Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa), and the University of Cambridge (UK) as well as at the Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University (USA), he taught social anthropology at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Cologne, the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin and the Department of Social Sciences, University of Fribourg, before joining the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2019. Focusing on Southern Africa, Northern Ireland and Germany, his research has dealt with political and legal issues such as statehood, the rule of law, plural normative orders, modernity, conflict and identity formations, as well as sociolinguistics and anthropological epistemologies. Besides numerous articles, his recent co-edited and authored books include: The State and the Paradox of Customary Law in Africa (Routledge, 2018); South African Homelands as Frontiers: Apartheid’s Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era (Routledge, 2017); Transition and Justice: Negotiating the Terms of New Beginnings in Africa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015); Irish/ness Is All Around Us: Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland (Berghahn Books, 2013); and Beyond Writing Culture: Current Intersections of Epistemologies and Representational Practices (Berghahn Books, 2010).

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