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Research Interests
Normativity and religion (esp. theory and practice of Islam in the Middle East, Africa and Europe); public international law and comparative constitutional law with a special focus on human rights and humanitarian law; the history of law, diplomatic relations and local legal concepts (‘customary law’) in countries of the Horn of Africa region; European law and policies / German jurisprudence 

Research Area(s)
Africa (Horn of Africa region and West Africa, esp. Nigeria)
Europe (esp. Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy)
MENA (North Africa and Middle East, incl. Afghanistan)


Hatem Elliesie, who joined the Law and Anthropology Department in 2016, took on a deputy professorship (Vertretungsprofessur) on Islamic Law ( Norbert Oberauer) at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster for the summer semester 2017. Prior to that he was a research fellow (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Institute for Semitic and Arabic Studies in the Department of History and Cultural Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, lecturer for the courses Islamic Law and Law and Society in the Horn of Africa within the Department of African Studies, Institute for Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and visiting lecturer at the Addis Ababa University Center for Human Rights. He was also a research fellow within the Research Project B7, ‘Rule of Law and Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood’, within the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700 ‘Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood’ at the Rule of Law Center of the Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung in 2012. From 2003 to 2005 he was a member of the ‘Sudan Peace Project’ and the project ‘Judicial and Public Administration Building in Afghanistan’ at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Inter­national Law in Heidelberg.

Hatem Elliesie studied law (in Hannover, Malta, Mannheim, Oxford and Heidelberg), Oriental and African studies, i.e., Islamic studies, Semitic studies and Ethiopian and Eritrean studies (in Heidelberg, Cairo and Berlin), as well as environmental studies (in Heidelberg and Bonn). He served his judicial service (Rechstreferendariat) at the Kammergericht Berlin (Germany) on secondments to the Public Prosecutor's Office, the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and an international law firm. In 1996 and 1997 he was a ‘Cultural Representative’ of the Federal Republic of Germany at the EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World Co., in Orlando, Florida (USA).

Hatem Elliesie is the initiator and founding member of the Lawyer's Group of Amnesty International in Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China). In addition to his various posts in academic associations, committees and working groups, he acts as an official expert and consultant to several German civil courts and federal government agencies on legal issues dealing with private (international) law and constitutional law of countries in the Horn of Africa.

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