Biography

Dr Shirin Ebadi (Academic Expert) – Doughty Street Chambers

Shirn ebadi

Dr. Shirin Ebadi joined the Doughty Street Panel of Academic Experts in September 2017.

She was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize from the Islamic world (2003). She was Iran’s first female judge, serving as Tehran City Court President from 1975 to 1979 and was the first Iranian woman to achieve the status of Supreme Court President. After opening a law practice in 1992, she began defending people who were being persecuted by the authorities. in the year 2000 she herself was imprisoned for having criticized the hierocracy of her country. In addition to being an internationally recognized human rights defender, she has also established many non-governmental organizations in Iran, including the Million Signatures Campaign, a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law. The doctor. ebadi has a doctorate in law from the university of tehran and was a university professor. she has published more than 70 articles and 13 books dedicated to various aspects of human rights, some of which have been published by unicef. In 2004, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. In January 2006, she along with Nobel Prize Winner Jody Williams’ sister, Dr. ebadi took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

dr. Shirin Ebadi was born on June 22, 1947 in Hamadan, Iran. her father, professor mohammad ali ebadi, was a professor of business law. Her book “Business Law” was later edited and updated by her daughter, Shirin.

When Shirin was just one year old, her family moved to Tehran, where she received her education. In 1965, she began a law degree, completing it 3 years later. In 1970, after a period of internship, she became one of the first female judges in Iran. She soon progressed through the ranks and was appointed as a chief magistrate of the court’s 26th division in Tehran in 1975, again making her the youngest and first woman to hold the position.

shirin married in 1975 and has two daughters, negar and nargess.

in 1979, immediately after the islamic revolution in iran, all female judges were fired because the revolutionaries of the time believed that women were prohibited from passing judgment. she was demoted to the position of clerk to the magistrate in the same court that she once presided over. she soon after she opted for early retirement.

in 1992, he established a private practice for handling contentious cases. She was the defense lawyer for many controversial human and political rights cases in Iran, including Zahra Kazemi (journalist murdered in Evin prison), Parvaneh and Dariush Foroohar (well-known political activists, murdered by security forces), Ezat Ebrahim nejad (killed in tehran university dormitory, 1999), and zahra bani yaghoob (a young doctor, killed while in detention). she also took on the case of the seven leaders of the baha’i faith in iran. all these activities led to her imprisonment on charges of spreading and publishing lies against the islamic republic in 1999. she spent 25 days in solitary confinement. the court sentenced her to a year and a half in prison and prohibited her from practicing law for 5 years. in the appeal process and due to international pressure, her sentence was reduced to a fine.

dr. ebadi received the nobel peace prize in 2003. he used part of the prize money to establish an office for the center for human rights defenders (cdhr) and support the families of political prisoners. this center became a prominent human rights organization. As a result, he was honored by France’s National Human Rights in 2003. In 2008, the center was closed by security forces. they confiscated the building.

dr. ebadi left iran shortly before the june 2009 presidential elections to attend a conference in spain. she did not return to iran due to severe restrictions placed on human rights activists and receiving news of the arrests of her colleagues and many murders. she continued her activities in de facto exile. The Iranian government, disapproving of her actions, filed a case against her in the Islamic Revolutionary Court. the government confiscated her property, including the cdhr office, on the pretext of non-payment of taxes. Furthermore, to blackmail and silence Dr. ebadi, her sister and her husband were detained by the security forces.

social experiences

  • founded the society for the protection of children’s rights in 1995 and chaired it until the year 2000
  • founded and chaired the center for human rights defenders in 2001
  • proposal for a law to the Iranian parliament on the protection of children and young people, (summer 2002)
  • founded and chaired the Mine Clearance Collaborative Association in 2003
  • collaboration with 6 other women peace prize winners to finance the Nobel Women’s Initiative in 2006. she is a member of the latter’s board of directors
  • founded the center for human rights defenders in 2012
  • carried out several research projects with the unicef ‚Äč‚Äčtehran office
  • member of unitar’s board of directors since 2007
  • teaching (free) courses on the subject of children’s rights and the convention on the rights of the child for different groups
  • taught (free) courses on education and promotion of human and women’s rights
  • participation in many legal and human rights conferences and seminars
  • doctoring at several universities and institutes around the world
  • professional experience

    • taught business law classes at the islamic azad university in tehran from 1989 to 1993
    • taught urban planning laws and regulations at tehran university graduate and fine arts schools from 1993 to 1999
    • taught on women’s rights at the graduate school of social sciences, allame tababayi university from 2001 to 2004
    • Taught at the University of Tucson in Arizona/United States in 2005
    • books

      • criminal law in collaboration with professor abdolhossein aliabadi (1973)
      • the rights of the child (1988) translated into english
      • medical rights (1989)
      • the young workers (1990)
      • literary and artistic rights (1990)
      • architectural rights (1992)
      • the rights of refugees (1994) translated into english
      • History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran (1994) translated into English
      • Tradition and Modernity in the Iranian Legal System (1996)
      • Comparative Rights of Children (1997) translated into English
      • Iran’s Awakening: One Woman’s Journey To Take Back Her Life And Country (2007)
      • the golden cage: three brothers, three options, one destiny (2011) translated into 7 languages
      • honorary degrees

        • honorary doctorate, williams college/united states, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, university of liege/belgium, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, brown university/us, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, university of british columbia/canada, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, university of maryland, college park/us, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, university of toronto/canada, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, simon fraser university/canada, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, koc university/istanbul, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, university of akureyri/iceland, 2004
        • honorary doctorate, australian catholic university/australia, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, university of san francisco/united states, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, concordia university/canada, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, university of york/canada, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, york university/uk, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, jean moulin university in lyon/ france, 2005
        • honorary doctorate, loyola university chicago/united states, 2007
        • honorary doctorate, rutgers university chicago/united states, 2007
        • honorary doctorate the new school university/us, 2007
        • honorary juris doctor, marquette university/us, 2009
        • honorary doctorate, university of genoa/italy, 2010
        • honorary doctorate, European University of Madrid/Spain, 2010
        • honorary doctorate, university of cambridge/uk, 2011
        • honorary doctorate, university of poitier/ france, 2011
        • honorary doctorate, westfield university/us, 2012
        • honorary doctorate, law society/toronto, june 2012
        • honorary doctorate, school of oriental and african studies (soas) london, july 2012

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