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Durham University

Islam, Law and Modernity


Ms Alice Panepinto


Alice joined the Durham Law School as a PhD candidate in October 2010. She holds a law degree from the University of Turin, Italy, and an LLM from SOAS, University of London, where she focused on Public International Law, Law and Society in the Middle East, Human Rights and Islamic Law.

In 2014 she is serving as a UN Fellow in Jerusalem, working on human rights and justice sector.

Before returning to academia, Alice completed a traineeship on international peace and security issues at the Delegation of the European Commission to the UN and a legal research internship at the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (Interights). She has also worked for the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation as a research and training assistant.

At Durham Law School, alongside her PhD, Alice served as Deputy Convener (PGR) of the Law and Conflict at Durham (LCD) research cluster (2011-2013) and as secretary of Islam, Law and Modernity (ILM) (2011-2013) research cluster.

As a Ustinov College Scholar, Alice was Project Leader for the Ustinov Café Politique, a successful series of interdisciplinary seminars to provide a forum for discussion of politics and current affairs.

Current Research

In her doctoral thesis, Alice is exploring transitional justice mechanisms in Islamic contexts.

Her research seeks to frame transitional justice in connection to international law, with a focus on international human rights law, and critically evaluates synergies between the Islamic legal tradition and international conceptions of transitional justice in Muslim-majority contexts.

Research Group Membership

  • Law and Conflict at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre
  • Islam Law and Modernity
  • GLAD

Research Interests

  • Transitional justice
  • International law, with a focus on International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law
  • Comparative law, including the Islamic Legal Traditions
  • International relations/International law interdisciplinarity

Teaching Area

  • International Security, Interdependence and Organisation (At Durham's School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA))
  • Law of the International Community/Public International Law

Research Interests

  • Comparative Law, including Islamic Law
  • Human Rights
  • International and EU Public Law
  • Transitional justice


Book review

  • Panepinto, A. (2012). Phil Clark, The Gacaca Courts, Post-Genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda: Justice Without Lawyers. International Criminal Law Review 12(1): 101-103.

Conference Paper

  • Panepinto, A. (2013), Is it Safe for Transitologists to Travel to the Middle East? And what should they bring with them?,, PGR Conference of the Human Rights Centre and Law & Conflict at Durham. Durham Law School, Durham University, UK, Durham Law School, Durham University.
  • Panepinto, A. (2013), Localising Transitional Justice in Islamic Settings: The Challenges for International Lawyers ‘doing’ Comparative Law, Fifth annual conference of the Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL). NUI Galway, Ireland, NUI Galway.
  • Hann, M. & Panepinto, A. (2013), Rights Recognition Theories and the European Human Rights Framework: A Conversation between Political Philosophy and Human Rights Law, North East PGR Law Forum Conference ‘Critical, Reflective Analyses of Law in Contemporary Society’. School of Law, Northumbria University, Newcastle, England, (Awarded 'Best Paper' prize.), School of Law, Northumbria University, Newcastle.
  • (2013), Tilting at Windmills with Islamic Law? A critical discussion of the employment of shari’ah as a means of resistance to authoritarianism in post-Mubarak Egypt, Critical Legal Conference. Queen's University Belfast Queen's University Belfast.
  • (2013), Transitional Justice for Islamic Settings: Concepts, Methods and Ways Forward, Annual Society of Legal Scholars Conference (SLS) - Comparative Law Section. University of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh.
  • Panepinto, A. (2012), Developing the Rule of Law and Human Rights through Transitional Justice: Dealing with Post-Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa, Annual Student Conference: Dealing with the Past: Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Human Rights Law Centre, Nottingham University, Nottingham, England, Human Rights Law Centre, Nottingham University.
  • Panepinto, A. (2012), Gender Equality in the Workplace: Exploring the Hidden Traps, The First Conference of the United Arab Emirates Gender and Women’s Studies Consortium (sponsored by the American University of Sharjah and the University of Southern Maine). AUS, Sharjah, UAE, AUS, Sharjah.
  • Panepinto, A (2011), Exploring Transitional Justice and Islamic Law While Ticking the Human Rights Boxes, Durham University Human Rights Centre Workshop. Durham, England, Durham.
  • Panepinto, A. (2011), Transitional Justice in Islamic Settings, 2nd Symposium of the Young Penalists/Jeunes Pénalistes de l’Association Internationale de Droit Pénal (AIDP). Centre d’Études Juridiques et Politiques de l’Université de La Rochelle, France. Centre d’Études Juridiques et Politiques de l’Université de La Rochelle.
  • Panepinto, A. (2011), Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Islamic Contexts, Pre-Conference MPhil / PhD Workshop, The International Law Association - British Branch Annual Conference. University of Sheffield, England, University of Sheffield.
  • Panepinto, A. (2009), Faithful to Humans: Combining International Human Rights Standards and the Fundamental Principles of Islamic Law, Israeli Law and Society Association International Conference: Secularism, Nationalism and Human Rights: Law and Politics in the Middle East and Europe. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv University.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

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