UCL Faculty of Laws


Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring

18 October 2018, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Nyman Sultany image of book

A UCL Public Law Group Event

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws Events


Keeton Room
UCL Laws, Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens

Speaker: Dr Nimer Sultany (SOAS)

Chair: Dr Silvia Suteu (Lecturer in Public Law, UCL Laws)

About the event:

The Public Law Group invites you to its first event of the 2018/19 academic year. Dr Sultany’s will present his recent book, Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (OUP, 2017). The book offers a critical re-examination of political, legal, and constitutional theory in light of the Arab Spring. It is a comprehensive study of the constitutional order that preceded and followed the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria, Oman, and Bahrain, while at the same time drawing on comparative insights derived from other revolutionary contexts. The book won the Society of Legal Scholars’ Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2018 and was a joint winner of the 2018 International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) Book Prize. The ICON·S Book Award Committee praised the book as follows:

“Nimer Sultany’s book tells us just what we don’t want to hear. He does so by taking a philosophical hammer to a range of central concepts in constitutional thought and practice ... Sultany tells us that settled understandings of concepts such as constituent power, legitimacy, revolution, and legality lie somewhere between innocent myth and devious distortion ... In a masterful study, Sultany dissects the theory of each of these ideas before illustrating how they fail to map onto the complex events in multiple nations during the Arab Spring. As a specimen of critical constitutional theory the book is first rate. As a study pulling the legal curtain back on constitutionally significant events during the Arab Spring, it is riveting. And as an in-depth book combining both of these things, it is incontestably in the front rank of constitutional scholarship.”

The event is free and open to all, but prior registration is encouraged. For further information and to obtain a copy of a circulated chapter, please email Dr Silvia Suteu at s.suteu@ucl.ac.uk.

About the speaker:

Dr Nimer Sultany is Senior Lecturer in Public Law at SOAS. He holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School, and was the recipient of the British Academy Fellowship (2016-2017) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SUNY Buffalo Law School (2012-2013). Prior to joining SOAS, he practiced human rights law in Israel/Palestine, and was the director of the Political Monitoring Project at Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Centre for Applied Social Research. He published extensively on constitutional theory, comparative constitutionalism, and Israeli jurisprudence. His book Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017) won the 2018 Book Prize awarded by the International Society of Public Law and the 2018 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship awarded by the Society of Legal Scholars. Other publications include: “The State of Progressive Constitutional Theory: The Paradox of Constitutional Democracy and the Project of Political Justification” in the Harvard Civil Rights—Civil Liberties Law Review; “Against Conceptualism: Islamic Law, Democracy, and Constitutionalism in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring” in the Boston University International Law Journal; and “Activism and Legitimation in Israel's Jurisprudence of Occupation” in Social & Legal Studies.

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