November 16, 2015 Islamic Law Reform Subject of Human Rights Day Program Dec. 8

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Liah Caravalho (202) 707-6462

In recognition of Human Rights Day, the Law Library of Congress and the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division will host a panel discussion on Islamic law reform from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

The event will be held in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The program, “Perspectives on Reform of Islamic Law,” will feature a panel of distinguished Islamic scholars. They include Sherman Jackson, King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California; Issam Saliba, foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress; and Harvard Law School professors Intisar A. Rabb and Kristen A. Stilt, who co-direct the university’s Islamic Legal Studies program.

Jane McAuliffe, world-renowned scholar of Islam and director of the Library’s National and International Outreach Division, will moderate the discussion, which will explore new avenues and perspectives on Islamic law reform with a particular focus on reform within the framework of Islamic jurisprudence itself.

Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The declaration was designed to provide a global framework for human rights following World War II and the colonial era. The UDHR, the first global enunciation of human rights, is considered the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages, and new translations are still being added.

The Law Library was established in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law Library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at

The African and Middle Eastern Division is a center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. For more information on the division and it holdings, visit

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at


PR 15-204
ISSN 0731-3527