Lahore-Dr Osama Siddique - a prominent Pakistani legal scholar and reform specialist - has been appointed as the inaugural Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.

The prestigious new Chair at Harvard is meant to be occupied every year by an outstandinginternational scholar, judgeor advocatewho has made significant contributions in the area.This position cannot be applied for - an appointment is only by invitationby Harvard Law School. Thus, it is a matter of additional pride that the very first appointee to this position at the leading university in the world is a Pakistani.

By way of background, Dr. Osama Siddique is a graduate of Government College, Lahore, LUMS, University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) and Harvard (from where he obtained his Masters and Doctoral degrees). He has extensive and diverse past experience as a practicing lawyer in New York as well as in Pakistan; as an institution builder (he pioneered the law program at LUMS and served as its first Chair and has also worked on institutional capacity building of various state institutions over the past many years); as a teacher and academic (he has taught for several years in Pakistan - at university and also while training judges, policemen and prosecutors - and more recently in other countries in association with a research centre at Harvard; and, as a leading national justice sector reform expert who has advised the judiciary, the federal and provincial governments, and various international organizations, at the highest levels, on justice sector reforms over the past decade and a half and also authored many laws, reports and recommendations.

Dr Siddique also has extensive research output, is a regular participant in international conferences as well as local legal and policy discourses, and is the author of many academically ranked and peer reviewed scholarly publications. He has authored the book “The Jurisprudence of Dissolutions: Presidential Power to Dissolve Assemblies under the Pakistani Constitution and its Discontents” (2008). His latest book is titled “Pakistan’s Experience with Formal Law: An Alien Justice.” Published in June, 2013 by the Cambridge University Press, it has been described as having made a seminal contribution to existing literature on the historical and sociological evolution of formal legal systems in post-colonial developing countries (with a particular focus on Pakistan and India), the varied experience of ordinary citizens with these formal legal systems, and the experience and impact of major reform projects.

It was declared the Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Karachi Literature Festival, 2014 and also awarded the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) Annual Book Prize 2014-2015.

At Harvard, Dr Siddique will be teaching the courses: From Colonial to Post-Colonial: International Financial Institutions, Access to Justice and Human Rights; and, Public Interest Litigation and Constitutional Protection of Human Rights: The South Asian Experience, as well as participating in various seminars, co-teaching special sessions in other courses, and making presentations at conferences.

In terms of current additional institutional affiliation, Dr. Siddique is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), the Executive Director of the Law and Policy Research Network (www.lprn.org.pk), the Chief Executive of Avante Development Services (ADS), and Senior Faculty for the Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy’s (IGLP).