Photo of Hossein Raeesi

Hossein Raeesi

Adjunct Professor

Degrees:Shiraz Law School, M.A. Tehran University

Mr. Raeesi has practiced Criminal and Human Rights law in Shiraz, Iran for 20 years and served as a board member of the Fars Province Bar Association for two terms.  He was the founder and former head of the Human Rights Committee of the Fars Province Bar Association for eight years. He is also the founder of Neday-e Edalat (The Voice of Justice) Legal Association in Shiraz.  He is no stranger to teaching aspiring lawyers such as during his tenure as part-time Lecturer at Azad University of Shiraz.  He has also taught online classes on issues related to Iranian Islamic law both in Iran and in Canada.

In his practice as a lawyer, as pro bono counsel, he has defended political prisoners, journalists, women, LGBTQs, minorities, students and children who were sentenced to the death penalty. In this regard, he has been credited with winning several high profile cases dealing with controversial issues like capital punishment, stoning of women, child executions, religious persecution, domestic and gender based abuse, discrimination and much more.

Given the high profile cases he has worked on, he came under the scrutiny and pressure of the Iranian government leading to his immigrating to Canada.  In Canada, Mr. Raeesi continues to advocate for human rights issues, being a go-to legal expert on issues of Sharia law, criminal law, criminal procedure, and their effects on criminal justice and civil society. As a consultant on foreign legal issues, he has been working with Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (“IHRDC”), FHI360 International, Amnesty International, and Tavanaa (E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society). He has written many legal commentaries on the protection of human rights in the administration of criminal justice on topics such as torture, brutal punishments, death penalty and the need for focus on restorative justice.

In 2015, Mr. Raeesi was selected by a joint committee of University of Ottawa and Carleton University to be their one-year In-House Scholar and Visiting Professor. In this role, he appeared at several speaking engagements and weekly panels, and conducted various research projects. He also teaches a comparative course on human rights within Sharia law and Islamic legal systems.

Teaching 2018-2019

LAWS 4903 B – Human Rights, Sharia Law and Islamic Legal System

Current Projects:

Legal director of the project “Improving Juvenile Justice and Advancing the Human Rights of Children and Adolescents”

Teaching and Researching Interests:

International Human Rights, Criminal Justice System, Children Rights, Criminology, Islamic Legal System, Sharia Law, Islamic Criminal Justice System, Death Penalty, Gender Based and Domestic Violence, LGBTQs, Zemology and Social Harms, Critical Legal Studies, Criminalizing Apostasy in Islamic Legal System.

Selected Publications:

Discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in the Islamic Republic constitution. The Foreign Policy Center (UK, London, January 2014)

Prison Journal of a Child Bride, Guernica a Magazine of art & politics, (US, New York, August 2014)

Chapter of a book “On the Death Penalty in Iran”, Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM, France, Paris 2014)

Chapter of a book on “International Developments and Practices in Investigative interviewing and Interrogation V1: Victims and Witnesses, Interviewing Victims and Witnesses in Iran” Albany Law School, Global Institute for Health and Human Rights (US, Albany, 2015)

Children Rights: from Birth to Eighteen Years Old, (E-Collaborative for civic Education, US, Washington, 2015)

Chronicle of an Execution, Legal Commentary on execution in Iran, (IRANHRDC US, New Haven, 2015)

 Qisas: A Law for Injustice (US, Hew Haven, IRANHRDC, 2015)

 Lawyers in Death Penalty Cases, Researchers in Exile Magazine, (Italy, Sapienza University of Rome, 2016)

Criminalization Apostasy in Islam (Forthcoming)