For Immediate Release

Katja Sipple
University of Washington School of Law


UW Law Professor Recognized by Council on Foreign Relations as Islamic Law Expert

The prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (, which is widely considered the most important international relations think tank in the United States, has chosen Assistant Professor Clark Lombardi as a resource for questions and background information regarding Islamic law, or sharia, and constitutionalism. Lombardi's teaching and research at the University of Washington School of Law focuses on Islamic law, U.S. and comparative constitutional law and development law. He is also assisting in a project run by the law school's Asian Law Center, which is collaborating with Kabul University to help train Afghan law professors.

The article – "Governing Under Sharia" – currently posted on the council's public Web site, provides a brief overview of sharia and its role in Islamic countries with definitions and explanations by Lombardi and other experts. Lombardi also served on the advisory committees for two forthcoming CFR special reports, exploring Islamic legal issues, including a report about constitutionalism.

Lombardi, who joined the faculty in 2004, holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Columbia University. Prior to joining the UW faculty, he was involved in a major project advising the government of Afghanistan on issues of commercial law reform and legal capacity building. He also taught seminars in Islamic law at Columbia Law School and New York University's Department of Middle East Studies. Lombardi is currently finishing a book discussing the interface of constitutional law and Islamic law in Egypt.

"The Council's public Web site is a rich resource and the first stop for many people researching current issues in international affairs," says Lombardi. "I think this will help the broader public realize that many departments at the UW, including the law school, are extremely strong in the areas of Islamic studies."

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