Anthony Bonanno ’68

LL.M., Partner London Office Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Metzger-Conway


Human Rights: An Analysis of Saudi Arabia and the Impact of Islam

Bonanno PosterMonday, November 24, 2008
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Using Saudi Arabia as a case study, this talk will explore human rights in the Middle East from the perspective of the Muslim world and Sharia law. Particular attention will be paid to capital punishment, sexism, homophobia, immigration, divorce and inheritance.

Topical Background
Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Saudi royal family within a framework that is based on sharia law. Sharia law, in turn, is derived from the Qur’an, other religious texts of Islam, interpretations and precedents. Elements of sharia law, in some ways, stand in opposition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The practice of sharia law in Saudi Arabia has witnessed the oppression of minority groups, including religious and sexual minorities. In particular, women’s rights are often a point of contention because of the extent to which gender-based discrimination pervades Saudi society. These problems and concerns reappear in many other countries of the Middle East.

Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” concept is certainly worth considering when examining the relationship between the United States and the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia. Although there have been improvements in Human Rights in the Middle East, certain dimensions of Islamic fundamentalism remain in tension with Western understandings of
Human Rights.

About the Speaker
Anthony Bonanno ’68 is a U.S. partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. His area of concentration – international taxation – has focused on many areas but especially the structuring of business activities throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States and taxation of U.S. businesses and individuals abroad. Mr. Bonanno primarily advises Middle Eastern clients on their worldwide investments, including Islamic Arab financial institutions.

Mr. Bonanno has also spent time in Washington D.C., as an adjunct Professor of Law in International Taxation at Georgetown University Law School, and he currently teaches International Tax at Notre Dame University Law School’s London Branch. Mr. Bonanno graduated from Dickinson in 1968 and is returning to Dickinson as the Metzger Conway fellow. Anthony Bonanno lectured Dickinson students and Political Science Professor Doug Stuart about Human Rights in the Middle East in Bologna, Italy last month and his talk was very well-received.

Video of the Program